Lexicographic order?

Does anyone know how to sort an array of vertices in lexicographic order?



PS: I have already tried www.google.com.

You’re joking right? Lexicographical order means sorted alphabetically: Adrian, John, Kenneth, Lisa etc. Why you would want to sort an array of vertices (points in 3space) lexicographically is beyond me. How you could determine the the lexicographical order of anything but words and letters is beyond me. But maybe you mean someting different? Or if you really want to do this, map the bytes of the vecotrs to chars and treat them as words. You’d get into trouble with non aplhanumeric characters though, so it probably wouldn’t work either.

I think thats what he seems to mean. Convert 3.14 to “three point one four” and then do an ordinary quick sort

Try this here:

I just came to the conclusion that my link was not as useful as it should have been - sorry about that.

If there are two vectors A and B each with float (or double) components (x,y,z) then the lexicographic order is:

A < B iff

A.x < B.x Or
A.x == B.x And A.y < B.y Or
A.x == B.x And A.y == B.y Or A.z < B.z

That’s what the link said, except for the symbols you used and the link wasn’t editted clearly.

Why would someone want to sort this way?


Originally posted by V-man:
Why would someone want to sort this way?

Don’t know about this particular way, but some sort of ordering predicate is necessary for building efficient searchable collections, which might come in handy. Think about processing a big bunch of coordinate values looking for duplicates, so that you can convert the data to a more economical indexed form.

Exactly. I think the objective is to sort vertices to search more effectively dupplicate entities, connectivity, curvatures, etc.


That’s a good idea actually.


I use hashing to determine if a point matches an other point in the hash table. See my answer in:


Instead of making one hash value for the point you could hash each component (x, y and z) one after another. So you have a hash table for x, inside this a hash table for y and inside this a hash table for z.


[This message has been edited by Kilam Malik (edited 07-05-2002).]

Why sort lexicographically and not just by value?

Hashing is probably a good idea if you want to accelerate e.g. lookup of neighbouring vertices. The average complexity of a hash lookup is O(1) although the worst case is O(n). Storing stuff sorted in say a tree will give you better worst case complexity, but worse average lookup time. Provided you have a good enough hash function the hash lookup should perform better. I don’t know of a good hashfunction for 3 component float vectors though…

Basically I use

x + 1000 * y + 1000000 * z MODULO buckets;

Buckets is a prim value.

Important is, that if a value is 1.00000 and the next you search is 0.99999 you won’t find it. To avoid this, I search in the bucket my hash function gives me and also one bucket below and above. This means O(3).

Another possibility I didn’t try yet is to cascade the hashings. This means, you hash every componets of the vector seperately. This leads you to the next hash table. So you hash x then y then z. You have also O(3) then.


[This message has been edited by Kilam Malik (edited 07-07-2002).]


What is a half-edge datastructure?


it is a datastructure to store the geometry and the topology of a 3D body.

Basically, you have a vertex list (no duplicates, here I use the hashing). Next is the edge list. Each edge refers to it’s two vertices. Also, each edge referes to two half edges, one on the left and one on the right side of the edge. This half edge referes to the loop and to to face.

This way, you have all relationships of the faces, loops, edges and vertices. E.g. you could find easily all faces which touch a vertex etc. Mostly, I need it to determine the left and right face of an edge.

Also, this way the topology is distinct from the geometry. The only point, where real coordinates are used is in the vertices. Every other elements are only refering to the vertices. This means, if you move a vertex, all faces change properly.

Another point is, that the edge must not be linear. It could be of any shape.

I use it e.g. to load STL files and automatically smooth them by determining the angle at which two faces meet at an edge.

Just search for “half edge” on google, it should give you a lot of results.


[This message has been edited by folker (edited 07-08-2002).]


How does the hash table work?

Do you sort vertices by hval?

[This message has been edited by billy (edited 07-10-2002).]

You have a number of buckets, let’s say 17. In each bucket you have a list of vertices. Now you have a function which tells you the hVal of a vertex between 0 and 16. Thats the list to which you append the vertex.

With a good choosen hashing function you get a normal distribution over the buckets. This means, you need O(2) if you have 34 vertices in your hash list to find it.

The number of buckets should be a prim number and high enough for your application. I have used 16381.

For more information, just search the web. Hashing is a standard technique which can index everything you could find a hash value for.


[This message has been edited by Kilam Malik (edited 07-10-2002).]

this is just nit-picking, but O(2) and O(3) are the same thing as O(1) since they only differ by a constant. O(1) just means “constant time”, that time however, might be 4000 years. The only point is, given a sufficiently large n, an algorithm with asymptotic (sp?) complexity O(1) will be faster than one with complexity O(n). There’s always this little invisible constant you have to remember :wink:

actually O(x) means it takes x times one step. for the hashtable example, with a good hashkey generator, it takes for twice the amount of objects stored in more or less 2 steps, so O(2) is good.

remember, there is a wellknown sorting algo… it has O(4*k)…