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Communications of the ACM

An estimation of the relative efficiency of two internal sorting methods

This report concerns the IBM 705, models I and II. It is a study of the machine time required by two internal sorting methods, the conventional two-way merge, and a form of the binary search, which is due to D. Mordy, of the IBM Corporation. In particular, estimates are derived for the more time-consuming machine operations of comparison of keys, loading of keys into accumulator storage, and transmission of tags. The first two operations arise in both methods; the last is peculiar to the binary search. If the exclusion of other ancillary program steps from the estimation of machine times may be regretted from a purely practical point of view, some of the intermediate estimates may be of interest in a more theoretical context.

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