This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.
This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.
Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.
Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.
You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.
Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.
What do you do when a sort is too big to fit in RAM (Random Access Memory) ? When Oracle’s Collections. sort fails? You need some sort of external sort that uses intermediate disk space. I can think of four ways to implement this:
Then it does a K-way merge, reading from K files and writing the merged results of the first chunk in each file to another file. You read the files with a buffered reader with buffer size B, (where again the optimum size of B is determined by experiment.) Then it merges the second chunks etc. Each merge pass reduces the number of chunks to 1/K and makes each chunk K times as large. You repeat until all the chunk are merged into one sorted one.
How cleverly you estimate values for N, K and B will largely determine the performance of your sort.
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