Array.Sort(Of T) Method (T(), Comparison(Of T))

 

Sorts the elements in an Array using the specified Comparison(Of T).

Namespace:   System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

Public Shared Sub Sort(Of T) (
	array As T(),
	comparison As Comparison(Of T)
)

Parameters

array
Type: T()

The one-dimensional, zero-based Array to sort

comparison
Type: System.Comparison(Of T)

The Comparison(Of T) to use when comparing elements.

Type Parameters

T

The type of the elements of the array.

Exception Condition
ArgumentNullException

array is null.

-or-

comparison is null.

ArgumentException

The implementation of comparison caused an error during the sort. For example, comparison might not return 0 when comparing an item with itself.

If the sort is not successfully completed, the results are undefined.

This method uses introspective sort (introsort) algorithm as follows:

  • If the partition size is fewer than 16 elements, it uses an insertion sort algorithm.

  • If the number of partitions exceeds 2 * LogN, where N is the range of the input array, it uses a Heapsort algorithm.

  • Otherwise, it uses a Quicksort algorithm.

This implementation performs an unstable sort; that is, if two elements are equal, their order might not be preserved. In contrast, a stable sort preserves the order of elements that are equal.

For arrays that are sorted by using the Heapsort and Quicksort algorithms, in the worst case, this method is an O(n log n) operation, where n is the Length of array.

Notes to Callers:

The .NET Framework 4 and earlier versions used only the Quicksort algorithm. Quicksort identifies invalid comparers in some situations in which the sorting operation throws an IndexOutOfRangeException exception, and throws an ArgumentException exception to the caller. Starting with the .NET Framework 4.5, it is possible that sorting operations that previously threw ArgumentException will not throw an exception, because the insertion sort and heapsort algorithms do not detect an invalid comparer. For the most part, this applies to arrays with fewer than 16 elements.

The following code example demonstrates the Sort(Comparison(Of T)) method overload.

The code example defines an alternative comparison method for strings, named CompareDinosByLength. This method works as follows: First, the comparandsare tested fornull, and a null reference is treated as less than a non-null. Second, the string lengths are compared, and the longer string is deemed to be greater. Third, if the lengths are equal, ordinary string comparison is used.

A array of strings is created and populated with four strings, in no particular order. The list also includes an empty string and a null reference. The list is displayed, sorted using a Comparison(Of T) generic delegate representing the CompareDinosByLength method, and displayed again.

Imports System
Imports System.Collections.Generic

Public Class Example

    Private Shared Function CompareDinosByLength( _
        ByVal x As String, ByVal y As String) As Integer

        If x Is Nothing Then
            If y Is Nothing Then 
                ' If x is Nothing and y is Nothing, they're
                ' equal. 
                Return 0
            Else
                ' If x is Nothing and y is not Nothing, y
                ' is greater. 
                Return -1
            End If
        Else
            ' If x is not Nothing...
            '
            If y Is Nothing Then
                ' ...and y is Nothing, x is greater.
                Return 1
            Else
                ' ...and y is not Nothing, compare the 
                ' lengths of the two strings.
                '
                Dim retval As Integer = _
                    x.Length.CompareTo(y.Length)

                If retval <> 0 Then 
                    ' If the strings are not of equal length,
                    ' the longer string is greater.
                    '
                    Return retval
                Else
                    ' If the strings are of equal length,
                    ' sort them with ordinary string comparison.
                    '
                    Return x.CompareTo(y)
                End If
            End If
        End If

    End Function

    Public Shared Sub Main()

        Dim dinosaurs() As String = { _
            "Pachycephalosaurus", _
            "Amargasaurus", _
            "", _
            Nothing, _
            "Mamenchisaurus", _
            "Deinonychus" }
        Display(dinosaurs)

        Console.WriteLine(vbLf & "Sort with generic Comparison(Of String) delegate:")
        Array.Sort(dinosaurs, AddressOf CompareDinosByLength)
        Display(dinosaurs)

    End Sub

    Private Shared Sub Display(ByVal arr() As String)
        Console.WriteLine()
        For Each s As String In arr
            If s Is Nothing Then
                Console.WriteLine("(Nothing)")
            Else
                Console.WriteLine("""{0}""", s)
            End If
        Next
    End Sub
End Class

' This code example produces the following output:
'
'"Pachycephalosaurus"
'"Amargasaurus"
'""
'(Nothing)
'"Mamenchisaurus"
'"Deinonychus"
'
'Sort with generic Comparison(Of String) delegate:
'
'(Nothing)
'""
'"Deinonychus"
'"Amargasaurus"
'"Mamenchisaurus"
'"Pachycephalosaurus"

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 8
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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