You have five coins, apparently alike, but actually of different weights. You also have a two arm scale.
Can you manage to sort the coins in ascending order, using the scale only seven times?
Bonus question: can it be done in fewer weighings?
(In reply to re: Solution based on the O-Sort sorting algorithm
Ack! You're absolutely correct.
The O-Sort is different from the shell sort in a cuople of ways. the shell sort starts with a step size of 3 where the O-Sort starts with a step size of n/2-1, and the shell sort decrements the step by 1 whereas the O-Sort's step size decrements by some factor between .78 and .86, depending on which version.
I never tested the O-Sort on a sample size this small before.
Posted by Erik
on 2004-06-02 13:11:05