Sorting with Networks of Data Structures



We consider the problem of sorting a permutation using a network of data structures as introduced by Knuth and Tarjan. In general the model as considered previously was restricted to networks that are directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of stacks and/or queues. In this paper we study the question of which are the smallest general graphs that can sort an arbitrary permutation and what is their effciency. We show that certain two node graphs can sort in time O(n2) and no simpler graph can sort all permutations. We then show that certain three node graphs sort in time (n3/2), and that there exist graphs of k nodes which can sort in time O(n logk n), which is optimal.

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