Faster 3-Periodic Merging Networks

Marek Piotrów

We consider the problem of merging two sorted sequences on a comparator network that is used repeatedly, that is, if the output is not sorted, the network is applied again using the output as input. The challenging task is to construct such networks of small depth. The first constructions of merging networks with a constant period were given by Kuty{\l}owski, Lory\'s and Oesterdikhoff. They have given $3$-periodic network that merges two sorted sequences of $N$ numbers in time $12\log N$ and a similar network of period $4$ that works in $5.67\log N$. We present a new family of such networks that are based on Canfield and Williamson periodic sorter. Our $3$-periodic merging networks work in time upper-bounded by $6\log N$. The construction can be easily generalized to larger constant periods with decreasing running time, for example, to $4$-periodic ones that work in time upper-bounded by $4\log N$. Moreover, to obtain the facts we have introduced a new proof technique.

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