NAG Library Routine Document

m01ccf (charvec_sort)


    1  Purpose
    7  Accuracy


m01ccf rearranges a vector of character data so that a specified substring is in ASCII or reverse ASCII order.


Fortran Interface
Subroutine m01ccf ( ch, m1, m2, l1, l2, order, ifail)
Integer, Intent (In):: m1, m2, l1, l2
Integer, Intent (Inout):: ifail
Character (*), Intent (Inout):: ch(m2)
Character (1), Intent (In):: order
C Header Interface
#include nagmk26.h
void  m01ccf_ (char ch[], const Integer *m1, const Integer *m2, const Integer *l1, const Integer *l2, const char *order, Integer *ifail, const Charlen length_ch, const Charlen length_order)


m01ccf is based on Singleton's implementation of the ‘median-of-three’ Quicksort algorithm (see Singleton (1969)), but with two additional modifications. First, small subfiles are sorted by an insertion sort on a separate final pass (see Sedgewick (1978)) Second, if a subfile is partitioned into two very unbalanced subfiles, the larger of them is flagged for special treatment: before it is partitioned, its end points are swapped with two random points within it; this makes the worst case behaviour extremely unlikely.
Only the substring (l1:l2) of each element of the array ch is used to determine the sorted order, but the entire elements are rearranged into sorted order.


Sedgewick R (1978) Implementing Quicksort programs Comm. ACM 21 847–857
Singleton R C (1969) An efficient algorithm for sorting with minimal storage: Algorithm 347 Comm. ACM 12 185–187


1:     chm2 – Character(*) arrayInput/Output
On entry: elements m1 to m2 of ch must contain character data to be sorted.
Constraint: the length of each element of ch must not exceed 255.
On exit: these values are rearranged into sorted order.
2:     m1 – IntegerInput
On entry: the index of the first element of ch to be sorted.
Constraint: m1>0.
3:     m2 – IntegerInput
On entry: the index of the last element of ch to be sorted.
Constraint: m2m1.
4:     l1 – IntegerInput
5:     l2 – IntegerInput
On entry: only the substring (l1:l2) of each element of ch is to be used in determining the sorted order.
Constraint: 0<l1l2lench1.
6:     order – Character(1)Input
On entry: if order='A', the values will be sorted into ASCII order.
If order='R', into reverse ASCII order.
Constraint: order='A' or 'R'.
7:     ifail – IntegerInput/Output
On entry: ifail must be set to 0, -1​ or ​1. If you are unfamiliar with this argument you should refer to Section 3.4 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for details.
For environments where it might be inappropriate to halt program execution when an error is detected, the value -1​ or ​1 is recommended. If the output of error messages is undesirable, then the value 1 is recommended. Otherwise, if you are not familiar with this argument, the recommended value is 0. When the value -1​ or ​1 is used it is essential to test the value of ifail on exit.
On exit: ifail=0 unless the routine detects an error or a warning has been flagged (see Section 6).

Error Indicators and Warnings

If on entry ifail=0 or -1, explanatory error messages are output on the current error message unit (as defined by x04aaf).
Errors or warnings detected by the routine:
On entry,m2<1,
On entry,order is not 'A' or 'R'.
On entry,the length of each element of ch exceeds 255.
An unexpected error has been triggered by this routine. Please contact NAG.
See Section 3.9 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.
Your licence key may have expired or may not have been installed correctly.
See Section 3.8 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.
Dynamic memory allocation failed.
See Section 3.7 in How to Use the NAG Library and its Documentation for further information.


Not applicable.

Parallelism and Performance

m01ccf is threaded by NAG for parallel execution in multithreaded implementations of the NAG Library.
Please consult the X06 Chapter Introduction for information on how to control and interrogate the OpenMP environment used within this routine. Please also consult the Users' Note for your implementation for any additional implementation-specific information.

Further Comments

The average time taken by the routine is approximately proportional to n×logn, where n=m2-m1+1. The worst case time is proportional to n2, but this is extremely unlikely to occur.
The routine relies on the Fortran intrinsic functions LLT and LGT to order characters according to the ASCII collating sequence.


This example reads a file of 12-character records, and sorts them into reverse ASCII order on characters 7 to 12.

Program Text

Program Text (m01ccfe.f90)

Program Data

Program Data (m01ccfe.d)

Program Results

Program Results (m01ccfe.r)

© The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd, Oxford, UK. 2017