Two Bad Sorts

May 17, 2011

We have some fun today implementing two really bad sorting algorithms.

Stooge sort is a recursively-defined algorithm that sorts n items in O(nlog 3 / log 1.5) comparisons: If the value at the end of the list is less than the value at the start of the list swap them. Then, if there are three are more items in the list, recursively sort the first two-thirds of the items in the list, then the last two-thirds of the items in the list, and finally (again) the first two-thirds of the items in the list. This is so bad that it takes a few seconds just to convince yourself that it actually works.

Bogosort is particularly bad, with factorial time complexity, on average, and no guarantee that it ever terminates: collect the items in the list in random order. If they are sorted, return them, otherwise try again with a new random ordering of the items in the list.

Your task is to implement stooge sort and bogosort. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

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