Sort the following elements using Radix Sort : 121 70 965 432 12 577 683 What is the limitation of radix sort?
1 Answer

Sorting by least significant digit (1’s place)

$\hspace{5cm}7\underline{0}12\underline{1}43\underline{2}1\underline{2}68\underline{3} \ 96\underline{5}57\underline{7}$

Sorting by 10’s place,

$\hspace{5cm}\underline{1}2 \ 1\underline{2}1 \ 4\underline{3}2 \ 9\underline{6}5 \ 5\underline{7}7\underline{7}0 \ 6\underline{8}3$

Sorting by most significant digit (100’s place),

$\hspace{5cm}\underline{0}12 \ \underline{0}70 \ \underline{1}21 \ \underline{4}32 \underline{5}77 \ \underline{6}83 \ \underline{9}65$

The elements are now sorted.

  • The limitations of Radix Sort are:-
  • The speed of Radix Sort largely depends on the inner basic operations, and if the operations are not efficient enough, Radix Sort can be slower than some other algorithms such as Quick Sort and Merge Sort. These operations include the insert and delete functions of the sub lists and the process of isolating the digit one wants.
  • If the numbers are not of the same length, then a test is needed to check for additional digits that need sorting. This can be one of the slowest parts of Radix Sort, and it is one of the hardest to make efficient.
  • Radix Sort can also take up more space than other sorting algorithms, since in addition to the array that will be sorted, you need to have a sublist for each of the possible digits or letters.
  • Since Radix Sort depends on the digits or letters, Radix Sort is also much less flexible than other sorts. For every different type of data, Radix Sort needs to be rewritten, and if the sorting orders changes, the sort needs to be rewritten again. In short, Radix Sort takes more time to write, and it is very difficult to write a general purpose Radix Sort that can handle all kinds of data.
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