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Subject: Re: [boost] [sort] Re: [review] Formal review period for Sort library begins today, November 10, and ends Wednesday, November 19
From: Steven Ross (spreadsort_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-11-10 07:53:41

> I have personally seen cases where sorting speed is a bottleneck.
> However, there are implementations that are still quite faster than this
> library (I have one that is at least 3.5 faster than std::sort), and that
> fares better with small sizes.

I'd appreciate if you could point me to specific implementations and/or
data, so I can run a direct comparison. Did you test their relative
speeds? This library provides a significantly larger speedup on easy
problems, such as evenly distributed random data or where the data range is
not much larger than the number of elements being sorted. This library is
optimized and speed-tested for the worst case, so it provides a consistent
speedup over comparison-sorting on the vast majority of distributions, and
provides a better worst-case guarantee than both conventional hybrid radix
and pure comparison-based approaches. Many hybrid-radix approaches do
poorly with data distributions like that in ,
often significantly slower (5X runtime) than pure comparison-based sorts.
When integer_sort or float_sort run into a problem like that, they
automatically revert to std::sort and end up having comparable speed to
pure comparison-based sorting.

To restate the case: for any specific data distribution, it is possible to
construct a faster sorting implementation than this one. The goal of this
library is to provide most of the speedup of specialized radix-based or
hybrid-radix algorithms, without sacrificing significant speed on problems
where such approaches do poorly, and without having to write specialized
code each time.

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