Selection Algorithm

In computer science, a selection algorithm is an algorithm for finding the kth smallest number in a list or array; such a number is called the kth order statistic. This includes the cases of finding the minimum, maximum, and median elements. There are O(n) (worst-case linear time) selection algorithms, and sublinear performance is possible for structured data; in the extreme, O(1) for an array of sorted data. Selection is a subproblem of more complex problems like the nearest neighbor problem and shortest path problems. Many selection algorithms are derived by generalizing a sorting algorithm, and conversely some sorting algorithms can be derived as repeated application of selection.
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