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IntroSort or Introspective sort

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 20 Jan, 2021

Introsort(Introspective sort) is a comparison based sort that consists of three sorting phases. They are Quicksort, Heapsort, and Insertion sort. Basic concepts of Introsort and the C++ code are available here
The following section shows how the Introsort algorithm is formulated, after reviewing the pros and cons of the respective algorithms. 

  1. Quicksort 
    The Quicksort is an efficient sorting algorithm but has the worst-case performance of O(N ^ 2) comparisons with O(N) auxiliary space. This worst-case complexity depends on two phases of the Quicksort algorithm. 
    1. Choosing the pivot element 
    2. Recursion depth during the course of the algorithm
  2. Heapsort 
    Heapsort has O(N log N) worst-case time complexity, which is much better than the worst case of Quicksort. So, is it evident that Heapsort is the best? No, the secret of Quicksort is that it does not swap already elements that are already in order, which is unnecessary, whereas with the Heapsort, even if all of the data is already sorted, the algorithm swaps all of the elements to order the array. Also, by choosing the optimal pivot, the worst-case of O(N ^ 2) can be avoided in quicksort. But, the swapping will pay more time in the case of Heapsort that is unavoidable. Hence, Quicksort outperforms Heapsort.
    The best things about Heapsort is that, if the recursion depth becomes too large like (log N), the worst case complexity would be still O(N log N).
  3.  Mergesort 
    The Mergesort has the worst case complexity only as O(N log N). Mergesort can work well on any type of data sets irrespective of its size whereas the Quicksort cannot work well with large data sets. But, Mergesort is not in-place whereas Quicksort is in-place, and that plays a vital role in here. Mergesort goes well with LinkedLists whereas Quicksort goes well with arrays. The locality of reference is better with Quicksort, whereas with Mergesort it is bad. So, for conventional purposes, having memory constraints in hand, Quicksort outperforms Mergesort.
  4.  Insertion sort 
    The main advantage of the insertion sort is its simplicity. It also exhibits a good performance when dealing with a small list. The insertion sort is an in-place sorting algorithm so the space requirement is minimal. The disadvantage of the insertion sort is that it does not perform as well as the other sorting algorithms when the size of the data gets larger.
     

Here is how Introsort is formulated: 
Choosing the right sorting algorithm depends on the occasion where the sorting algorithm is being used. There are a good number of sorting algorithms in hand already that has pros and cons of its own. So, to get a better sorting algorithm, the solution is to tweak the existing algorithms and produce a new sorting algorithm that works better. There are a lot of hybrid algorithms, that outperforms the general sorting algorithms. One such is the Introsort. The best versions of Quicksort are competitive with both heap sort and merge sort on the vast majority of inputs. Rarely Quicksort has the worst case of O(N ^ 2) running time and O(N) stack usage. Both Heapsort and Mergesort have O(N log N) worst-case running time, together with a stack usage of O(1) for Heapsort and O(log N) for Mergesort respectively. Also, Insertion sort performs better than any of the above algorithms if the data set is small.
Combining all the pros of the sorting algorithms, Introsort behaves based on the data set. 

  1. If the number of elements in the input gets fewer, the Introsort performs Insertion sort for the input.
  2. Having the least number of comparisons(Quicksort) in mind, for splitting the array by finding the pivot element, Quicksort is used. Quoted earlier, the worst case of Quicksort is based on the two phases and here is how we can fix them. 
    1. Choosing the pivot element: We can use either of median-of-3 concept or randomized pivot concept or middle as the pivot concept for finding the pivot element 
    2.  Recursion depth during the course of the algorithm: When the recursion depth gets higher, Introsort uses Heapsort as it has the definite upper bound of O(N log N).

How does depthLimit work? 
depthLimit represents maximum depth for recursion. It is typically chosen as log of length of input array (please refer below implementation). The idea is to ensure that the worst case time complexity remains O(N log N). Note that the worst-case time complexity of HeapSort is O(N log N).

Why is Mergesort not used? 
As the arrays are being dealt with the in-place concept where Quicksort outperforms Mergesort, we are not using Mergesort.

Can Introsort be applied everywhere?  



  1. If the data won’t fit in an array, Introsort cannot be used.
  2. Furthermore, like Quicksort and Heapsort, Introsort is not stable. When a stable sort is needed, Introsort cannot be applied.

Is Introsort the only hybrid sorting algorithm? 
No. There are other hybrid sorting algorithms like Hybrid Mergesort, Tim sort, Insertion-Merge hybrid.
Comparison of Heapsort, Insertion sort, Quicksort, Introsort while sorting 6000 elements(in milliseconds). 
 

Pseudocode: 

sort(A : array):
    depthLimit = 2xfloor(log(length(A)))
    introsort(A, depthLimit)

introsort(A, depthLimit):
    n = length(A)
    if n<=16:
        insertionSort(A)
    if depthLimit == 0:
        heapsort(A)
    else:

        // using quick sort, the
        // partition point is found 
        p = partition(A)  
        introsort(A[0:p-1], depthLimit - 1)
        introsort(A[p+1:n], depthLimit - 1)

Time Complexity: 
Worst-case performance: O(nlogn) (better than Quicksort) 
Average-case performance: O(nlogn)
In the Quicksort phase, the pivot can either be chosen using the median-of-3 concept or last element of the array. For data that has a huge number of elements, median-of-3 concept slows down the running time of the Quicksort.
In the example described below, the quicksort algorithm calculates the pivot element based on the median-of-3 concept. 

Example:

Java




// Java implementation of Introsort algorithm
 
import java.io.IOException;
 
public class Introsort {
 
    // the actual data that has to be sorted
    private int a[];
 
    // the number of elements in the data
    private int n;
 
    // Constructor to initialize the size
    // of the data
    Introsort(int n)
    {
        a = new int[n];
        this.n = 0;
    }
 
    // The utility function to insert the data
    private void dataAppend(int temp)
    {
        a[n] = temp;
        n++;
    }
 
    // The utility function to swap two elements
    private void swap(int i, int j)
    {
        int temp = a[i];
        a[i] = a[j];
        a[j] = temp;
    }
 
    // To maxHeap a subtree rooted with node i which is
    // an index in a[]. heapN is size of heap
    private void maxHeap(int i, int heapN, int begin)
    {
        int temp = a[begin + i - 1];
        int child;
 
        while (i <= heapN / 2) {
            child = 2 * i;
 
            if (child < heapN
                && a[begin + child - 1] < a[begin + child])
                child++;
 
            if (temp >= a[begin + child - 1])
                break;
 
            a[begin + i - 1] = a[begin + child - 1];
            i = child;
        }
        a[begin + i - 1] = temp;
    }
 
    // Function to build the heap (rearranging the array)
    private void heapify(int begin, int end, int heapN)
    {
        for (int i = (heapN) / 2; i >= 1; i--)
            maxHeap(i, heapN, begin);
    }
 
    // main function to do heapsort
    private void heapSort(int begin, int end)
    {
        int heapN = end - begin;
 
        // Build heap (rearrange array)
        this.heapify(begin, end, heapN);
 
        // One by one extract an element from heap
        for (int i = heapN; i >= 1; i--) {
 
            // Move current root to end
            swap(begin, begin + i);
 
            // call maxHeap() on the reduced heap
            maxHeap(1, i, begin);
        }
    }
 
    // function that implements insertion sort
    private void insertionSort(int left, int right)
    {
 
        for (int i = left; i <= right; i++) {
            int key = a[i];
            int j = i;
 
            // Move elements of arr[0..i-1], that are
            // greater than the key, to one position ahead
            // of their current position
            while (j > left && a[j - 1] > key) {
                a[j] = a[j - 1];
                j--;
            }
            a[j] = key;
        }
    }
 
    // Function for finding the median of the three elements
    private int findPivot(int a1, int b1, int c1)
    {
        int max = Math.max(Math.max(a[a1], a[b1]), a[c1]);
        int min = Math.min(Math.min(a[a1], a[b1]), a[c1]);
        int median = max ^ min ^ a[a1] ^ a[b1] ^ a[c1];
        if (median == a[a1])
            return a1;
        if (median == a[b1])
            return b1;
        return c1;
    }
 
    // This function takes the last element as pivot, places
    // the pivot element at its correct position in sorted
    // array, and places all smaller (smaller than pivot)
    // to the left of the pivot
    // and greater elements to the right of the pivot
    private int partition(int low, int high)
    {
 
        // pivot
        int pivot = a[high];
 
        // Index of smaller element
        int i = (low - 1);
        for (int j = low; j <= high - 1; j++) {
 
            // If the current element is smaller
            // than or equal to the pivot
            if (a[j] <= pivot) {
 
                // increment index of smaller element
                i++;
                swap(i, j);
            }
        }
        swap(i + 1, high);
        return (i + 1);
    }
 
    // The main function that implements Introsort
    // low  --> Starting index,
    // high  --> Ending index,
    // depthLimit  --> recursion level
    private void sortDataUtil(int begin, int end, int depthLimit)
    {
        if (end - begin > 16) {
            if (depthLimit == 0) {
 
                // if the recursion limit is
                // occurred call heap sort
                this.heapSort(begin, end);
                return;
            }
 
            depthLimit = depthLimit - 1;
            int pivot = findPivot(begin,
                begin + ((end - begin) / 2) + 1,
                                           end);
            swap(pivot, end);
 
            // p is partitioning index,
            // arr[p] is now at right place
            int p = partition(begin, end);
 
            // Separately sort elements before
            // partition and after partition
            sortDataUtil(begin, p - 1, depthLimit);
            sortDataUtil(p + 1, end, depthLimit);
        }
 
        else {
            // if the data set is small,
            // call insertion sort
            insertionSort(begin, end);
        }
    }
 
    // A utility function to begin the
    // Introsort module
    private void sortData()
    {
 
        // Initialise the depthLimit
        // as 2*log(length(data))
        int depthLimit
            = (int)(2 * Math.floor(Math.log(n) /
                                  Math.log(2)));
 
        this.sortDataUtil(0, n - 1, depthLimit);
    }
 
    // A utility function to print the array data
    private void printData()
    {
        for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
            System.out.print(a[i] + " ");
    }
 
    // Driver code
    public static void main(String args[]) throws IOException
    {
        int[] inp = { 2, 10, 24, 2, 10, 11, 27,
                      4, 2, 4, 28, 16, 9, 8,
                      28, 10, 13, 24, 22, 28,
                      0, 13, 27, 13, 3, 23,
                      18, 22, 8, 8 };
 
        int n = inp.length;
        Introsort introsort = new Introsort(n);
 
        for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) {
            introsort.dataAppend(inp[i]);
        }
 
        introsort.sortData();
        introsort.printData();
    }
}


Python3




# Python implementation of Introsort algorithm
 
import math
import sys
from heapq import heappush, heappop
 
arr = []
 
 
# The main function to sort
# an array of the given size
# using heapsort algorithm
 
def heapsort():
    global arr
    h = []
 
    # building the heap
 
    for value in arr:
        heappush(h, value)
    arr = []
 
    # extracting the sorted elements one by one
 
    arr = arr + [heappop(h) for i in range(len(h))]
 
 
# The main function to sort the data using
# insertion sort algorithm
 
def InsertionSort(begin, end):
    left = begin
    right = end
 
    # Traverse through 1 to len(arr)
 
    for i in range(left + 1, right + 1):
        key = arr[i]
 
        # Move elements of arr[0..i-1], that are
        # greater than key, to one position ahead
        # of their current position
 
        j = i - 1
        while j >= left and arr[j] > key:
            arr[j + 1] = arr[j]
            j = j - 1
        arr[j + 1] = key
 
 
# This function takes last element as pivot, places
# the pivot element at its correct position in sorted
# array, and places all smaller (smaller than pivot)
# to left of pivot and all greater elements to right
# of pivot
 
def Partition(low, high):
    global arr
 
  # pivot
 
    pivot = arr[high]
 
  # index of smaller element
 
    i = low - 1
 
    for j in range(low, high):
 
        # If the current element is smaller than or
        # equal to the pivot
 
        if arr[j] <= pivot:
 
            # increment index of smaller element
 
            i = i + 1
            (arr[i], arr[j]) = (arr[j], arr[i])
    (arr[i + 1], arr[high]) = (arr[high], arr[i + 1])
    return i + 1
 
 
# The function to find the median
# of the three elements in
# in the index a, b, d
 
def MedianOfThree(a, b, d):
    global arr
    A = arr[a]
    B = arr[b]
    C = arr[d]
 
    if A <= B and B <= C:
        return b
    if C <= B and B <= A:
        return b
    if B <= A and A <= C:
        return a
    if C <= A and A <= B:
        return a
    if B <= C and C <= A:
        return d
    if A <= C and C <= B:
        return d
 
 
# The main function that implements Introsort
# low  --> Starting index,
# high  --> Ending index
# depthLimit --> recursion level
 
def IntrosortUtil(begin, end, depthLimit):
    global arr
    size = end - begin
    if size < 16:
 
        # if the data set is small, call insertion sort
 
        InsertionSort(begin, end)
        return
 
    if depthLimit == 0:
 
        # if the recursion limit is occurred call heap sort
 
        heapsort()
        return
 
    pivot = MedianOfThree(begin, begin + size // 2, end)
    (arr[pivot], arr[end]) = (arr[end], arr[pivot])
 
    # partitionPoint is partitioning index,
    # arr[partitionPoint] is now at right place
 
    partitionPoint = Partition(begin, end)
 
    # Separately sort elements before partition and after partition
 
    IntrosortUtil(begin, partitionPoint - 1, depthLimit - 1)
    IntrosortUtil(partitionPoint + 1, end, depthLimit - 1)
 
 
# A utility function to begin the Introsort module
 
def Introsort(begin, end):
 
    # initialise the depthLimit as 2 * log(length(data))
 
    depthLimit = 2 * math.floor(math.log2(end - begin))
    IntrosortUtil(begin, end, depthLimit)
 
 
# A utility function to print the array data
 
def printArr():
    print ('Arr: ', arr)
 
 
def main():
    global arr
    arr = arr + [
        2, 10, 24, 2, 10, 11, 27,
        4, 2, 4, 28, 16, 9, 8,
        28, 10, 13, 24, 22, 28,
        0, 13, 27, 13, 3, 23,
        18, 22, 8, 8 ]
         
    n = len(arr)
 
    Introsort(0, n - 1)
    printArr()
 
 
if __name__ == '__main__':
    main()


C#




// C# implementation of
// Introsort algorithm
using System;
class Introsort{
 
// the actual data that
// has to be sorted
public int []a;
 
// the number of elements
// in the data
public int n;
 
// Constructor to initialize
// the size of the data
Introsort(int n)
{
  a = new int[n];
  this.n = 0;
}
 
// The utility function to
// insert the data
private void dataAppend(int temp)
{
  a[n] = temp;
  n++;
}
 
// The utility function to
// swap two elements
private void swap(int i,
                  int j)
{
  int temp = a[i];
  a[i] = a[j];
  a[j] = temp;
}
 
// To maxHeap a subtree rooted
// with node i which is an index
// in []a. heapN is size of heap
private void maxHeap(int i,
                     int heapN,
                     int begin)
{
  int temp = a[begin + i - 1];
  int child;
 
  while (i <= heapN / 2)
  {
    child = 2 * i;
 
    if (child < heapN &&
        a[begin + child - 1] <
        a[begin + child])
      child++;
 
    if (temp >=
        a[begin + child - 1])
      break;
 
    a[begin + i - 1] = a[begin + child - 1];
    i = child;
  }
  a[begin + i - 1] = temp;
}
 
// Function to build the
// heap (rearranging the array)
private void heapify(int begin,
                     int end,
                     int heapN)
{
  for (int i = (heapN) / 2;
           i >= 1; i--)
    maxHeap(i, heapN, begin);
}
 
// main function to do heapsort
private void heapSort(int begin,
                      int end)
{
  int heapN = end - begin;
 
  // Build heap (rearrange array)
  this.heapify(begin, end, heapN);
 
  // One by one extract an element
  // from heap
  for (int i = heapN; i >= 1; i--)
  {
    // Move current root to end
    swap(begin, begin + i);
 
    // call maxHeap() on the
    // reduced heap
    maxHeap(1, i, begin);
  }
}
 
// function that implements
// insertion sort
private void insertionSort(int left,
                           int right)
{
  for (int i = left; i <= right; i++)
  {
    int key = a[i];
    int j = i;
 
    // Move elements of arr[0..i-1],
    // that are greater than the key,
    // to one position ahead
    // of their current position
    while (j > left && a[j - 1] > key)
    {
      a[j] = a[j - 1];
      j--;
    }
    a[j] = key;
  }
}
 
// Function for finding the median
// of the three elements
private int findPivot(int a1,
                      int b1, int c1)
{
  int max = Math.Max(
            Math.Max(a[a1],
                     a[b1]), a[c1]);
  int min = Math.Min(
            Math.Min(a[a1],
                     a[b1]), a[c1]);
  int median = max ^ min ^
               a[a1] ^ a[b1] ^ a[c1];
  if (median == a[a1])
    return a1;
  if (median == a[b1])
    return b1;
  return c1;
}
 
// This function takes the last element
// as pivot, places the pivot element at
// its correct position in sorted
// array, and places all smaller
// (smaller than pivot) to the left of
// the pivot and greater elements to
// the right of the pivot
private int partition(int low,
                      int high)
{
  // pivot
  int pivot = a[high];
 
  // Index of smaller element
  int i = (low - 1);
   
  for (int j = low;
           j <= high - 1; j++)
  {
    // If the current element
    // is smaller than or equal
    // to the pivot
    if (a[j] <= pivot)
    {
      // increment index of
      // smaller element
      i++;
      swap(i, j);
    }
  }
  swap(i + 1, high);
  return (i + 1);
}
 
// The main function that implements
// Introsort low  --> Starting index,
// high  --> Ending index, depthLimit
// --> recursion level
private void sortDataUtil(int begin,
                          int end,
                          int depthLimit)
{
  if (end - begin > 16)
  {
    if (depthLimit == 0)
    {
      // if the recursion limit is
      // occurred call heap sort
      this.heapSort(begin, end);
      return;
    }
 
    depthLimit = depthLimit - 1;
    int pivot = findPivot(begin, begin +
                         ((end - begin) /
                           2) + 1, end);
    swap(pivot, end);
 
    // p is partitioning index,
    // arr[p] is now at right place
    int p = partition(begin, end);
 
    // Separately sort elements
    // before partition and after
    // partition
    sortDataUtil(begin, p - 1,
                 depthLimit);
    sortDataUtil(p + 1, end,
                 depthLimit);
  }
 
  else
  {
    // if the data set is small,
    // call insertion sort
    insertionSort(begin, end);
  }
}
 
// A utility function to begin
// the Introsort module
private void sortData()
{
  // Initialise the depthLimit
  // as 2*log(length(data))
  int depthLimit = (int)(2 * Math.Floor(
                             Math.Log(n) /
                             Math.Log(2)));
 
  this.sortDataUtil(0, n - 1, depthLimit);
}
 
// A utility function to print
// the array data
private void printData()
{
  for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
    Console.Write(a[i] + " ");
}
 
// Driver code
public static void Main(String []args)
{
  int[] inp = {2, 10, 24, 2, 10, 11, 27,
               4, 2, 4, 28, 16, 9, 8,
               28, 10, 13, 24, 22, 28,
               0, 13, 27, 13, 3, 23,
               18, 22, 8, 8};
 
  int n = inp.Length;
  Introsort introsort = new Introsort(n);
 
  for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
  {
    introsort.dataAppend(inp[i]);
  }
 
  introsort.sortData();
  introsort.printData();
}
}
 
// This code is contributed by Rajput-Ji


Output

0 2 2 2 3 4 4 8 8 8 9 10 10 10 11 13 13 13 16 18 22 22 23 24 24 27 27 28 28 28 

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