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Find the median of a set of sorted lists, Computer Science

  1. Feb 21, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Given a set of sorted lists {X1, X2, ..., Xn} each Xi is in R^n , devise a divide and conquer algo that
    finds the median of X1[tex]\bigcup[/tex] X2 [tex]\bigcup[/tex] ... [tex]\bigcup[/tex] Xn efficiently.
    (n * log(n), n^2 is not acceptable, also no probabilistic, expected runtime)
    Also, Xi [tex]\bigcap[/tex] Xj = [tex]\phi[/tex] [tex]\forall[/tex] i, j s.t. i[tex]\neq[/tex]j

    2. Relevant equations
    already know a procedure that finds the median of 2 equal sized, sorted lists in O(log(n)) time

    3. The attempt at a solution
    - sort the lists by its median values, re-label them to be X1, X2..., Xn
    - divide the lists into L = {X1, ..., X[floor(n/2)]} and U = {X_ceil(n/2) ... , Xn}
    - find the med points of L, call it "ml", and the med point of U, call it "mu"
    - remove elements < ml from L, elements > mu from U, get new set of L', and U'.
    but at this point, the lists could be no equal in size, if we do a merge it could blow up the runtime,
    since merge is theta(n)
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 29, 2008 #2
    X is list ; M is median ; r is # of elements less than M.
    X1 : (M1,r1)
    X2 : (M2,r2)
    X3 : (M3,r3)
    Xn : (Mn,rn)

    larger r's
    r x x
    r x x xx x
    r x x x xx x x
    r xxx xxx xx x x x
    r xxx xxx xxxxxx x
    m_m_m_m_m_mm___m___> larger medians

    can you notice anything about that data?
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
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