What different sorting algorithms sound like





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Published on Apr 19, 2010

This particular audibilization is just one of many ways to generate sound from running sorting algorithms. Here on every comparison of two numbers (elements) I play (mix) sin waves with frequencies modulated by values of these numbers. There are quite a few parameters that may drastically change resulting sound - I just chose parameteres that imo felt best.

After making this video I found that someone already tried to audibilize sorting algorithms:
- he mentions other older attempt: http://www.math.ucla.edu/~rcompton/mu...
And someone in comments metions similar attempt on different aproches to Towers of Hanoi problem in 1982; there was also attempt on trying to hear minimax search in chess engine in 2009: http://www.krazydad.com/blog/2009/05/... .

This is my first attempt on making algorithms audible. For some time I was wondering what would it sound like if cpu made different noises for different instructions. It all started while trying to play raw files (texts, images, programs...), then I heard few "raw" tracks on Alva Noto CD... and then I did one strange audio-visual simulation http://vimeo.com/6711459 and then I tried to play out voltage potentials simulated by spiking neural network implementation - it worked out really cool so I wanted to try something with algorithms - thats how I got here. I know this work is not novel but I feel it isn't explored enough. I see future uses of similar techniques in monitoring and debuging, teaching and gaining insight of more complicated algorithms, science (as an extension to ploting tools)... and arts.

If you heard of something similar please drop me a line.


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