Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Faster than Quicksort?

JoshCarp's picture
Digg, a social networking site (with emergent properties, maybe), has linked to a page boasting a set of sort algorithms faster than Quicksort. It's called Critticall, and it uses genetic algorithms to evolve C programs.


Kathy Maffei's picture

I think this kind of work is very interesting and has a lot of potential, so I was really excited about the sorting algorithm. Being a comp-sci major, I had to check out the sort algorithm. Now I'm a little confused, though. Of course I expected an evolved function might have some extraneous variables and superfluous commands, but I'm seeing something that looks like a flaw. I decided to step through the function, tracking the values of each variable along the way. I got only half a step through when the function replaced the value in the 1st position of the search array with a 0. Then through the next iteration, it completely lost track of that original value. Obviously, that can't be right! But I re-checked it and it looks like that's the case when the 1st value in the array is a negative number. Maybe I'm missing something, here. If anyone else wants to check it out, I'd like to know what you find.