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Algorithms Third Edition in C++ by Robert Sedgewick

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Chapter TenRadix Sorting

FOR MANY SORTING applications, the keys used to define the order of the records for files can be complicated. For example, consider the complex nature of the keys used in a telephone book or a library catalog. To separate this complication from essential properties of the sorting methods that we have been studying, we have used just the basic operations of comparing two keys and exchanging two records (hiding all the details of manipulating keys in these functions) as the abstract interface between sorting methods and applications for most of the methods in Chapters 6 through 9. In this chapter, we examine a different abstraction for sort keys. For example, processing the full key at every step is often unnecessary: ...

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