Latest Code Tutorials

C++ Merge Sort Example | Merge Sort Program In C++


C++ Merge sort is an efficient and comparison-based algorithm to sort an array or a list of integers you can say. It is a Divide and Conquer algorithm which was invented by John von Neumann in 1945. Now you may question what is Divide and Conquer method.

Merge sort first divides an array into equal halves and then combines them in a sorted manner.

You can check out Bubble Sort and Selection Sort examples in this blog.

C++ Merge Sort Example

Let’s discuss the divide and concur method. It has the following three tasks.

  1. Divide the problems into subproblems that are similar to the original but smaller in size.
  2. Conquer the sub-problems in recursively. If they are smaller in size solve them in a straight forward manner.
  3. Combine those solutions to a solution which is the answer to the original problem.

Merge sort keeps on dividing the list into equal halves until it can no more be divided. By definition, if it is only one element in the list, it is sorted. Then, merge sort combines the smaller sorted lists keeping the new list sorted too.

#How Divide and Conquer Algorithm works in Merge Sort

Sorting Problem: Sort a sequence of n elements into non-decreasing order.

Divide:  Divide the n-element sequence to be sorted into two subsequences of n/2 elements each

Conquer:  Sort the two subsequences recursively using merge sort.

Combine:  Merge the two sorted subsequences to produce the sorted answer.

The top-down merge sort approach a methodology which uses the recursion mechanism. It starts from the Top and proceeds downwards, with each recursive turn asking the same question such as “What is required to be done to sort the array?” and having an answer as, “split an array into two, make a recursive call, and merge the results.”, until one gets to the bottom of an array tree.

#Example of Merge Sort

Okay, now before going to the code and all first understand a model of Merge Sort, this will help you to understand the code.

Let us consider a list of integer:



So, as per the algorithm, we first need to divide the length of the list (n) into two parts and so on until they are divided into one node only.

So here n=7 now n/2=3. Thus, the first part will of 3 integers and the second part will be of 7-3=4 part.

Note that: If the size of the list is even then both sides will be divided equally. But for the case of ODD smaller size will be on the left side and more significant will be on the right side.

So, after Step1 the list will be divided like the following.



Like this again we will divide each of the lists by 2. So, the Left side list will be in  1+2 and the right side list will appear in the 2+2 part. The same thing will happen again until they all get separated. So, here we will see the final list after the divide method. See the following figure.

Merge Sort In C++ Tutorial With Example

Okay, after all the Divide operation performed, we will now perform Conquer that is Sort the two subsequences recursively using merge sort and Combine that is Merge the two sorted subsequences to produce the sorted answer operation.

So here we will see what will be the result after each step:

C++ Merge Sort Program

So, what happened here is… First it compared two sub-sequence, for example here 63 and 93 are checked and then they were placed in ascending order after the merge, similarly, 27 and 21 are checked and then placed ascending order after merged.

Again in step two 43,63,93 were checked and placed in ascending order after merge. By this way, we got our final shorted list.


#Pseudo Code for Merge Sort

Merge Sort Pseudo Code is the following.

procedure mergesort( var a as array )
   if ( n == 1 ) return a

   var l1 as array = a[0] ... a[n/2]
   var l2 as array = a[n/2+1] ... a[n]

   l1 = mergesort( l1 )
   l2 = mergesort( l2 )

   return merge( l1, l2 )
end procedure

procedure merge( var a as array, var b as array )

   var c as array
   while ( a and b have elements )
      if ( a[0] > b[0] )
         add b[0] to the end of c
         remove b[0] from b
         add a[0] to the end of c
         remove a[0] from a
      end if
   end while
   while ( a has elements )
      add a[0] to the end of c
      remove a[0] from a
   end while
   while ( b has elements )
      add b[0] to the end of c
      remove b[0] from b
   end while
   return c
end procedure

#C++ Merge Sort Program

See the following mergesort.cpp file.

using namespace std;
int Merge(int A[],int p, int q,int r)     

	int n1,n2,i,j,k; 
	//size of left array=n1
	//size of right array=n2       
	int L[n1],R[n2];
	//initializing the value of Left part to L[]
	//initializing the value of Right Part to R[]
	//Comparing and merging them
	//into new array in sorted order 
	//If Left Array L[] has more elements than Right Array R[]
	//then it will put all the
	// reamining elements of L[] into A[]
	//If Right Array R[] has more elements than Left Array L[]
	//then it will put all the
	// reamining elements of L[] into A[]
//This is Divide Part
//This part will Divide the array into 
//Sub array and then will Merge them
//by calling Merge()
int MergeSort(int A[],int p,int r)    
	int q;                                
int main()
	int n;
	cout<<"Enter size of the Array: ";
	int A[n],i;
	cout<<"Enter array values:\n";
	//Calling the MergeSort()
	//First we are passing the array
	//the start index that is 0
	//and the size of the array n
	cout<<"The Sorted List is\n";
		cout<<A[i]<<" ";
	return 0;

The output is the following.

Example of Merge Sort

#Time Complexity for Merge Sort

Running time T(n) of Merge Sort:

  1. Divide: computing the middle takes Θ(1)
  2. Conquer: solving 2 sub-problems takes 2T(n/2)
  3. Combine: merging n elements takes Θ(n)
  4. Total time complexity is the following.
T(n) = Θ(1)  
if n = 1T(n) = 2T(n/2) + Θ(n) 
if n > 1            
T(n)= 2 T(n/2) + n           
= 2 ((n/2)log(n/2) + (n/2)) + n                
= n (log(n/2)) + 2n              
= n log n – n + 2n               
= n log n + n
= O(n log n )

The above recurrence can be solved either using the Recurrence Tree method or Master method. It falls in case II of Master Method and the solution of the repetition is O(n log n).

The time complexity of the Merge Sort is O(n log n) in all 3 cases (worst, average and best) as merge sort always divides the array into two halves and takes linear time to merge two halves.

With worst-case time complexity being Ο(n log n), it is one of the most respected algorithms.

#Applications of Merge Sort

  1. Merge Sort is useful for sorting linked lists in O(nLogn) time.
  2. It is used in Inversion Count Problem.
  3. We can use it in External Sorting.

Conclusively, C++ Merge Sort Example | C++ Merge Sort Program article is over.

Recommended Posts

C++ Heap Sort Example

C++ Insertion Sort Example

C++ Selection Sort Example

C++ Bubble Sort Example

C++ Quick Sort Example

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.