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When sorting a dataset is necessary, the C programming language provides
the `qsort`

(Quick sort) function. `qsort`

is a generic function
which allows you to sort any kind of data structure (not just a single
array of numbers). To define “greater” and “smaller” (for sorting),
`qsort`

needs another function, even for simple numerical types. The
functions introduced in this section are to passed onto `qsort`

.

Note that larger and smaller operators are not defined on NaN elements. Therefore, if the input array is a floating point type, and contains NaN values, the relevant functions of this section are going to put the NaN elements at the end of the list (after the sorted non-NaN elements), irrespective of the requested sorting order (increasing or decreasing).

The first class of functions below (with `TYPE`

in their names) can be
used for sorting a simple numeric array. Just replace `TYPE`

with the
dataset’s numeric datatype. The second set of functions can be used to sort
indexs (leave the actual numbers untouched). To use the second set of
functions, a global variable or structure are also necessary as described
below.

- Global variable:
**gal_qsort_index_single** -
Pointer to an array (for example

`float *`

or`int *`

) to use as a reference in`gal_qsort_index_single_TYPE_d`

or`gal_qsort_index_single_TYPE_i`

, see the explanation of these functions for more. Note that if*more than one*array is to be sorted in a multi-threaded operation, these functions will not work as expected. However, when all the threads just sort the indexs based on a*single array*, this global variable can safely be used in a multi-threaded scenario.

- Type (C
`struct`

):**gal_qsort_index_multi** Structure to get the sorted indexs of multiple datasets on multiple threads with

`gal_qsort_index_multi_d`

or`gal_qsort_index_multi_i`

. Note that the`values`

array will not be changed by these functions, it is only read. Therefore all the`values`

elements in the (to be sorted) array of`gal_qsort_index_multi`

must point to the same place.struct gal_qsort_index_multi { float *values; /* Array of values (same in all). */ size_t index; /* Index of each element to be sorted. */ };

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_TYPE_d***(const void*`*a`

, const void`*b`

) When passed to

`qsort`

, this function will sort a`TYPE`

array in decreasing order (first element will be the largest). Please replace`TYPE`

(in the function name) with one of the Numeric data types, for example`gal_qsort_int32_d`

, or`gal_qsort_float64_d`

.

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_TYPE_i***(const void*`*a`

, const void`*b`

) When passed to

`qsort`

, this function will sort a`TYPE`

array in increasing order (first element will be the smallest). Please replace`TYPE`

(in the function name) with one of the Numeric data types, for example`gal_qsort_int32_i`

, or`gal_qsort_float64_i`

.

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_index_single_TYPE_d***(const void*`*a`

, const void`*b`

) When passed to

`qsort`

, this function will sort a`size_t`

array based on decreasing values in the`gal_qsort_index_single`

. The global`gal_qsort_index_single`

pointer has a`void *`

pointer which will be cast to the proper type based on this function: for example`gal_qsort_index_single_uint16_d`

will cast the array to an unsigned 16-bit integer type. The array that`gal_qsort_index_single`

points to will not be changed, it is only read. For example, see this demo program:#include <stdio.h> #include <stdlib.h> /* qsort is defined in stdlib.h. */ #include <gnuastro/qsort.h> int main (void) { size_t s[4]={0, 1, 2, 3}; float f[4]={1.3,0.2,1.8,0.1}; gal_qsort_index_single=f; qsort(s, 4, sizeof(size_t), gal_qsort_index_single_float_d); printf("%zu, %zu, %zu, %zu\n", s[0], s[1], s[2], s[3]); return EXIT_SUCCESS; }

The output will be:

`2, 0, 1, 3`

.

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_index_single_TYPE_i***(const void*`*a`

, const void`*b`

) Similar to

`gal_qsort_index_single_TYPE_d`

, but will sort the indexes such that the values of`gal_qsort_index_single`

can be parsed in increasing order.

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_index_multi_d***(const void*`*a`

, const void`*b`

) When passed to

`qsort`

with an array of`gal_qsort_index_multi`

, this function will sort the array based on the values of the given indexs. The sorting will be ordered according to the`values`

pointer of`gal_qsort_index_multi`

. Note that`values`

must point to the same place in all the structures of the`gal_qsort_index_multi`

array.This function is only useful when the indexs of multiple arrays on multiple threads are to be sorted. If your program is single threaded, or all the indexs belong to a single array (sorting different sub-sets of indexs in a single array on multiple threads), it is recommended to use

`gal_qsort_index_single_d`

.

- Function:

*int*

**gal_qsort_index_multi_i***(const void*`*a`

, const void *`b`

) Similar to

`gal_qsort_index_multi_d`

, but the result will be sorted in increasing order (first element will have the smallest value).

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GNU Astronomy Utilities 0.13 manual, September 2020.