Dr._Duck - 1 month ago 13

Python Question

We know that while implementing quick sort we select a pivot value.And during the partition phase we exchange pivot value with the rightmark.

Here is my code:

`def quicksort(mylist):`

quicksorthelper(mylist,0,len(mylist)-1)

def quicksorthelper(mylist,first,last):

if first< last:

splitpoint=partition(mylist,first,last)

quicksorthelper(mylist,first,splitpoint-1)

quicksorthelper(mylist,splitpoint+1,last)

def partition(mylist,first,last):

pivot= mylist[first]

leftmark= first +1

rightmark= last

done = False

counter = 0

while not done:

while leftmark <= rightmark and mylist[leftmark]< pivot:

leftmark = leftmark +1

while leftmark <= rightmark and mylist[rightmark]>pivot:

rightmark= rightmark -1

if leftmark>rightmark:

done = True

else:

temp = mylist[leftmark]

mylist[leftmark]=mylist[rightmark]

mylist[rightmark]=temp

counter +=1

temp= pivot #pivot = mylist[first]

pivot = mylist[rightmark]

mylist[rightmark]=temp

return rightmark

mylist= [54,26,93,17,77,31,44,55,20]

quicksort(mylist)

print(mylist)

So the problem is if i write pivot instead of mylist[first] the program is not working whereas if i write mylist[first] in place of pivot while exchanging values with rightmark it just works fine. Can you tell me why is this happening

Also if i try to do something like that:

`mylist = [54, 26, 93, 17, 77, 31, 44, 55, 20]`

sortlist=quicksort(mylist)

print(sortlist)

Then the output is None .Don't know what is wrong with that

Answer

This implementation does not work:

```
temp= pivot #pivot = mylist[first]
pivot = mylist[rightmark]
mylist[rightmark]=temp
```

Because you are *not mutating* `mylist`

when you do

```
pivot = mylist[rightmark]
```

You are simply *assigning a new value* to the variable `pivot`

:

```
>>> i = 2
>>> j = 4
>>> somelist = ['a','b','c','d','e','f','g']
>>> pivot = somelist[i]
>>> pivot
'c'
>>> temp = pivot
>>> pivot = somelist[j]
>>> pivot
'e'
>>> somelist[j] = temp
>>> pivot
'e'
>>> somelist
['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'c', 'f', 'g']
```

For the same reason, doing the following does not change the list:

```
>>> anotherlist = [1, 2, 3]
>>> x = anotherlist[1]
>>> x
2
>>> x = 53
>>> x
53
>>> anotherlist
[1, 2, 3]
```

You must do:

```
>>> anotherlist[0] = 53
>>> anotherlist
[53, 2, 3]
>>>
```

Or you could use a mutator method.

Finally, you do not need a `temp`

variable to do a swap in Python:

```
>>> a = 42
>>> b = 88
>>> a,b = b,a
>>> a
88
>>> b
42
>>>
```

Or with a list:

```
>>> somelist = ['a','b','c','d','e','f','g']
>>> i = 2
>>> j = 4
>>> somelist[i], somelist[j] = somelist[j], somelist[i]
>>> somelist
['a', 'b', 'e', 'd', 'c', 'f', 'g']
```