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12 Sorting

This chapter describes functions for sorting data, both directly and indirectly (using an index). All the functions use the heapsort algorithm. Heapsort is an O(N \log N) algorithm which operates in-place and does not require any additional storage. It also provides consistent performance, the running time for its worst-case (ordered data) being not significantly longer than the average and best cases. Note that the heapsort algorithm does not preserve the relative ordering of equal elements—it is an unstable sort. However the resulting order of equal elements will be consistent across different platforms when using these functions.