Process convergence for the complexity of Radix Selection on Markov sources

Kevin Leckey, Ralph Neininger, Henning Sulzbach

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A fundamental algorithm for selecting ranks from a finite subset of an ordered set is Radix Selection. This algorithm requires the data to be given as strings of symbols over an ordered alphabet, e.g., binary expansions of real numbers. Its complexity is measured by the number of symbols that have to be read. In this paper the model of independent data identically generated from a Markov chain is considered. The complexity is studied as a stochastic process indexed by the set of infinite strings over the given alphabet. The orders of mean and variance of the complexity and, after normalization, a limit theorem with a centered Gaussian process as limit are derived. This implies an analysis for two standard models for the ranks: uniformly chosen ranks, also called grand averages, and the worst case rank complexities which are of interest in computer science. For uniform data and the asymmetric Bernoulli model (i.e. memoryless sources), we also find weak convergence for the normalized process of complexities when indexed by the ranks while for more general Markov sources these processes are not tight under the standard normalizations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalStochastic Processes and their Applications
Early online date19 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2018


  • radix selection
  • gaussian process
  • markov source model
  • complexity
  • weak convergence
  • probabilistic analysis of algorithms


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