Emerge-Sort: Converging to Ordered Sequences by Simple Local Operators

Kalles, Dimitris
Kaporis, Alexis
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In this paper we examine sorting on the assumption that we do not know in advance which way to sort a sequence of numbers and we set at work simple local comparison and swap operators whose repeating application ends up in sorted sequences. These are the basic elements of Emerge-Sort, our approach to self-organizing sorting, which we then validate experimentally across a range of samples. Observing an O(n2) run-time behaviour, we note that the n/logn delay coefficient that differentiates Emerge-Sort from the classical comparison based algorithms is an instantiation of the price of anarchy we pay for not imposing a sorting order and for letting that order emerge through the local interactions.
Comment: Contains 16 pages, 17 figures, 1 table. Text updated as of March 10, 2009. Submitted to a journal
Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms