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Fast Out-of-Core Sorting on Parallel Disk Systems
Matthew D. Pearson
Dartmouth PCS-TR99-351

Abstract: This paper discusses our implementation of Rajasekaran's (l,m)-mergesort algorithm (LMM) for sorting on parallel disks. LMM is asymptotically optimal for large problems and has the additional advantage of a low constant in its I/O complexity. Our implementation is written in C using the ViC* I/O API for parallel disk systems.

We compare the performance of LMM to that of the C library function qsort on a DEC Alpha server. qsort makes a good benchmark because it is fast and performs comparatively well under demand paging. Since qsort fails when the swap disk fills up, we can only compare these algorithms on a limited range of inputs. Still, on most out-of-core problems, our implementation of LMM runs between 1.5 and 1.9 times faster than qsort, with the gap widening with increasing problem size.

Note: Undergraduate Honors Thesis. Advisor: Tom Cormen.

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   Matthew D. Pearson, "Fast Out-of-Core Sorting on Parallel Disk Systems." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report PCS-TR99-351, June 1999.

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