external sorting


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external sorting

[ek¦stərn·əl ′sȯrd·iŋ]
(computer science)
The sorting of a list of items by a computer in which the list is too large to be brought into the memory at one time, and instead is brought into the memory a piece at a time so as to produce a collection of ordered sublists which are subsequently reordered by the computer to produce a single list.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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Electronic sorting allows users to copy multiple sets without having to use an external sorting device.
It is well documented that the bottleneck in external sorting is the time for input/output (I/O) between internal memory and secondary storage.

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