Assignment 4: sorting

26 March 2019   PDF version


For this assignment, we will collect some data that will help us understand the performance characteristics of different sorting algorithms. Visit this site called xSortLab, produced by David J. Eck of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

You can play with the Visual Sort at the top if you want to, but for the assignment I want to focus on the “Timed Sort” box below that.


Figure 1: The “Timed Sort” feature of xSortLab

I want you to test and report the results on four different sorting algorithms, run on three different sizes of arrays (aka lists), which can vary from 10,000 up to 200,000. So you will generate twelve different pieces of data. The result we’ll focus on is just Elapsed Time.

For the sorting algorithms, do not use Insertion Sort. We’ll only use results for Bubble, Selection, Merge, and Quick Sort.

Timing something that finishes very quickly can be inaccurate, so we repeat the procedure on a Number of arrays to force it to take longer. Whenever your elapsed time is shorter than 0.5 seconds, you should bump up Number of arrays to make it take longer.

As you try different settings, all the results will be recorded in the Log section. Submit them using this form, one trial run per submission. (So you should submit the form twelve times.)