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MathGroup Archive 2000

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AW: Sorting with Infinity

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg23518] AW: [mg23513] Sorting with Infinity
  • From: Wolf Hartmut <hwolf at>
  • Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 22:29:51 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

	-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
	Von:	Jack Goldberg [SMTP:jackgold at]
	Gesendet am:	Dienstag, 16. Mai 2000 08:45
	An:	mathgroup at
	Betreff:	[mg23513] Sorting with Infinity

	Hi group;

	I construct lists which may look like this


	When this list is sorted by using Sort, I get


	I would prefer, naturally, 


	This is easy to do if one doesn't care about elegance.  Without 
	spelling out the obvious details, here are a few kludges:

	(1) Replace Infinity by 10^15, Sort  then switch back to Infinity.
	(2) Use Append and Prepend after Sort and  deleting infinities.
	(3) RotateRight after Sort and switch signs on infinities

	Anyone got a "cute" solution say by using a sorting function or 
	perhaps some arcane command unknown to mere mortals? 

Hello Jack,

Sort uses canonical order, and such obviously just recognizes Infinity as a
Symbol, see:

	Sort[{7, -2, Infamity, -Infinity, Infinity, 1, -Infamity}]

	{-2, 1, 7, -Infamity, Infamity, -Infinity, Infinity}
This is the same as explicitly using the ordering function OrderedQ:

	Sort[{7, -2, -Infinity, Infinity, 1}, OrderedQ[{#1, #2}] &]

	{-2, 1, 7, -Infinity, Infinity}

But choosing numerical ordering helps:

	Sort[{7, -2, -Infinity, Infinity, 1}, Less]

	{-Infinity, -2, 1, 7, Infinity}


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