GNU Scientific Library–Reference Manual – Selecting the k smallest or largest elements

The functions described in this section select the k smallest or largest elements of a data set of size N. The routines use an O(kN) direct insertion algorithm which is suited to subsets that are small compared with the total size of the dataset. For example, the routines are useful for selecting the 10 largest values from one million data points, but not for selecting the largest 100,000 values. If the subset is a significant part of the total dataset it may be faster to sort all the elements of the dataset directly with an O(N log N) algorithm and obtain the smallest or largest values that way. The functions described in this section select the k smallest or largest elements of a data set of size N. The routines use an O(kN) direct insertion algorithm which is suited to subsets that are small compared with the total size of the dataset. For example, the routines are useful for selecting the 10 largest values from one million data points, but not for selecting the largest 100,000 values. If the subset is a significant part of the total dataset it may be faster to sort all the elements of the dataset directly with an O(N log N) algorithm and obtain the smallest or largest values that way. Source.


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Last Modified: April 18, 2016 @ 2:09 pm