operations != passes.  If you were clever, you could probably write a
modified bubble-sort algorithm that only made 2 passes.  A pass is a
disk scan, operations are then performed (hopefully in memory) on what
you read from the disk.  So there's no theoretical log N lower-bound on
the number of disk passes.

Not that I have anything else useful to add to this discussion, just a
tidbit I remembered from my CS classes back in college :)

-- Mark

On Fri, 2005-09-23 at 13:17 -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> Ron Peacetree <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > 2= No optimal external sorting algorithm should use more than 2 passes.
> > 3= Optimal external sorting algorithms should use 1 pass if at all possible.
> A comparison-based sort must use at least N log N operations, so it
> would appear to me that if you haven't got approximately log N passes
> then your algorithm doesn't work.
>                       regards, tom lane
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