The final class of sorting algorithm considered in this chapter
consists of algorithms that sort *by distribution* .
The unique characteristic of a distribution sorting algorithm
is that it does *not* make use of comparisons to do the sorting.

Instead, distribution sorting algorithms rely on *a priori*
knowledge about the universal set
from which the elements to be sorted are drawn.
For example, if we know *a priori* that the size of the universe
is a small, fixed constant, say *m*,
then we can use the bucket sorting algorithm
described in Section .

Similarly, if we have a universe the elements of which can be represented with a small, finite number of bits (or even digits, letters, or symbols), then we can use the radix sorting algorithm given in Section .

Copyright © 1997 by Bruno R. Preiss, P.Eng. All rights reserved.