Home » C/C++ Data Structure programs

# C program to implement Merge Sort Algorithm

**Merge Sort Algorithm**: Here, we are going to learn about the merge sort algorithm, how it works, and C language implementation of the merge sort.

Submitted by Sneha Dujaniya, on June 19, 2020

**Merge sort** is an algorithm based on the divide and conquer paradigm which was invented by John von Neumann in the year 1945. It is a stable but not an in-place sorting algorithm.

- A
**stable sorting algorithm**is the one where two keys having equal values appear in the same order in the sorted output array as it is present in the input unsorted array. - An
**in-place sorting algorithm**has various definitions but a more used one is – An in-place sorting algorithm does not need extra space and uses the constant memory for manipulation of the input in-place. Although, it may require some extra constant space allowed for variables.

**Merge sort** calls two functions. One is the *MergeSort()* wherein it recursively calls itself for dividing the array into two sub halves till each sub-array has only one element in it and hence, sorted. Then secondly, it calls the *merge()* function where it merges the two sorted sub halves or sub-arrays into one till only one entire list is obtained.

**Pseudo-code:**

Merge_Sort(arr[], l, r) If r > l: 1. Find the middle element in the list to divide it into two sub-arrays: mid = (l + r)/2 2. Call Merge_Sort for first sub-array: Call Merge_Sort (arr, l, mid) 3. Call Merge_Sort for second sub_array: Call Merge_Sort(arr, mid+1, r) 4. Merge the two sub_arrays sorted in steps 2 and 3: Call Merge(arr, l, mid, r)

**Example:**

Input array: 2 6 1 9 1. Split the list into N sub lists: (2) (6) (1) (9). Hence, each list is sorted as there is only one element. 2. Merge the list in pairs starting from index 0. Merge (2) (6): (2 6) Merge (1) (6): (1 6) Merge (2 4) (1 6) 3. Merge two lists (2 4) (1 6): Compare each element of 1st list with all the elements of list 2 and insert the smaller one in a new list. Compare 2 and 1: 1 < 2, insert 1 in the new list first Compare 2 and 6: 2 < 6, insert 2 in the new list Compare 4 and 6: 4 < 6, insert 4 in the new list Insert 6 as it is the only element left List: (1 2 4 6) See this image for better understanding of the concept. The numbers represent the order in which the functions are called. (Source: Wikipedia)

**Time Complexity: **The time complexity of the **Merge Sort** algorithm is defined by the following recurrence relation T(n) = 2T(n/2) + Ɵ(n) where Ɵ(n) is the time complexity of **Merge function **and is linear.

The above recurrence relation is solved using the Master's Theorem to obtain the time complexity. The complexity is the same in all the cases because unlike Quick Sort, Merge Sort always divides the array into two equal subparts.

- Worst case: O(N log N)
- Average Case: Ɵ(N log N)
- Best case: Ω(N log N)
- Space Complexity: Ɵ(N)

**Merge Sort Implementation:**

#include <stdio.h> void merge(int arr[], int l, int mid, int r) { int i, j, k; int m = mid - l + 1; // Number of elements in first sub array int n = r - mid; // Number of elements in second half // create temporary arrays and copy the actual data to these for comparison int A[20], B[20]; for (i = 0; i < m; i++) A[i] = arr[l + i]; for (j = 0; j < n; j++) B[j] = arr[mid + 1 + j]; // Now, merge these temporary arrays after comparison i = 0; j = 0; k = l; while (i < m && j < n) { if (A[i] <= B[j]) { arr[k] = A[i]; i++; } else { arr[k] = B[j]; j++; } k++; } // This step is done if any of the list has left out elements while (i < m) { arr[k] = A[i]; i++; k++; } while (j < m) { arr[k] = B[j]; j++; k++; } } void merge_sort(int arr[], int l, int r) { if (l < r) { // This method helps to avoid // overflow for large l and r int mid = l + (r - l) / 2; merge_sort(arr, l, mid); // Call for first half merge_sort(arr, mid + 1, r); // Call for second half merge(arr, l, mid, r); // Calling merge function } } int main() { int arr[] = { 3, 8, 12, 9, 5, 26 }; int n = sizeof(arr) / sizeof(arr[0]); printf("Array:\n"); for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) printf("%d ", arr[i]); merge_sort(arr, 0, n - 1); printf("\nAfter performing the merge sort:\n"); for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) printf("%d ", arr[i]); return 0; }

**Output:**

Array: 3 8 12 9 5 26 After performing the merge sort: 1 3 5 8 12 26

TOP Interview Coding Problems/Challenges

- Run-length encoding (find/print frequency of letters in a string)
- Sort an array of 0's, 1's and 2's in linear time complexity
- Checking Anagrams (check whether two string is anagrams or not)
- Relative sorting algorithm
- Finding subarray with given sum
- Find the level in a binary tree with given sum K
- Check whether a Binary Tree is BST (Binary Search Tree) or not
- 1[0]1 Pattern Count
- Capitalize first and last letter of each word in a line
- Print vertical sum of a binary tree
- Print Boundary Sum of a Binary Tree
- Reverse a single linked list
- Greedy Strategy to solve major algorithm problems
- Job sequencing problem
- Root to leaf Path Sum
- Exit Point in a Matrix
- Find length of loop in a linked list
- Toppers of Class
- Print All Nodes that don't have Sibling
- Transform to Sum Tree
- Shortest Source to Destination Path

Comments and Discussions