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quicksort (partition-exchange sort) A form of sorting by exchanging due to C. A. R. Hoare. By comparing sortkeys from the two extremes of the file, and alternately working up the file from the bottom until an exchange is necessary and then working down the file from the top, the original problem can be reduced to two smaller problems. The same process is then applied to each part, and is further repeated until the problems are trivially small. See also heapsort.