Definition: Compare, and swap if necessary, pairs of elements in parallel. Subsets are sorted then merged.
Also known as Batcher sort.
Generalization (I am a kind of ...)
Note: This takes O((log n)2/2) stages (or steps) with n/2 comparators at each stage.
This sorts increasingly larger intermingled subsets, somewhat like Shell sort, and merges subsets, like merge sort.
Elements are compared and swapped in a fixed (oblivious) schedule, so this may be implemented with only conditional swaps. Here is a Batcher sort for four elements:
compareAndSwap(0, 1);where compareAndSwap(i,j) is if (a[i] < a[j]) Swap(a[i], a[j]). Notice that the first pair of operations, (0, 1) and (2, 3), can be performed in parallel, as can the second pair (0, 2) and (1, 3).
Knuth calls this Algorithm 5.2.2M [Knuth98, 3:111].
K. E. Batcher, Sorting Networks and their Applications, Proc. AFIPS Spring Joint Computer Conference, 32:307-314, 1968.
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Entry modified 25 March 2014.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "bitonic sort", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 25 March 2014. (accessed TODAY) Available from: https://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/bitonicSort.html