```Issue #8887 has been updated by Tsuyoshi Sawada.

A tricky thing is, how to order different objects that are in a tie with respect to the measure in question.

~~~ruby
[0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].max_by(6){|e| e % 3}
~~~

Which of the following should it be?

~~~ruby
[2, 5, 8, 1, 4, 7] # ascending, stable
[1, 4, 7, 2, 5, 8] # descending, stable
[7, 4, 1, 8, 5, 2] # descending, reversed stable
~~~

----------------------------------------
Feature #8887: min(n), max(n), min_by(n), max_by(n)
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/8887#change-49263

* Author: Akira Tanaka
* Status: Closed
* Priority: Normal
* Assignee: Akira Tanaka
* Category: core
* Target version:
----------------------------------------
return minimum/maximum n elements as an array.

Example:
* [6, 0, 3, 3, 8, 3, 5, 0, 6].min(4) #=> [0, 0, 3, 3]
* [6, 0, 3, 3, 8, 3, 5, 0, 6].max(4) #=> [5, 6, 6, 8]
* [6, 0, 3, 3, 8, 3, 5, 0, 6].min_by(4) {|v| (v-5)**2 } #=> [5, 6, 6, 3]
* [6, 0, 3, 3, 8, 3, 5, 0, 6].max_by(4) {|v| (v-5)**2 } #=> [3, 8, 0, 0]

These methods are similar to sort follows first or last.

* e.min(n) is similar to e.sort.first(n)
* e.max(n) is similar to e.sort.last(n)
* e.min_by(n) {...} is similar to e.sort_by {...}.first(n)
* e.max_by(n) {...} is similar to e.sort_by {...}.last(n)

However e.min(n), e.max(n), e.min_by(n), e.max_by(n) are
less memory consuming and can be faster.
They use memory proportional to n, not e.
They doesn't sort whole e.

I feel their use is not rare.
I found several use after searching.

[ruby-talk:123508], [ruby-list:40939], [ruby-talk:273980]
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/mjh/20101024/1287901875
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11094874/get-top-n-elements-from-ruby-array-of-hash-values
http://www.math.kobe-u.ac.jp/~kodama/tips-ruby-sized_pqueue.html
https://bitbucket.org/sterlingcamden/topn

Also, e.max(n) can be used to implement weighted random sampling.

Pavlos S. Efraimidis, Paul G. Spirakis
Weighted random sampling with a reservoir
Information Processing Letters
Volume 97, Issue 5 (16 March 2006)

```
% ./ruby -e '
module Enumerable
def wsample(n)
self.max_by(n) {|v| rand ** (1.0/yield(v)) }
end
end
e = (-20..20).to_a*10000
a = e.wsample(20000) {|x|
Math.exp(-(x/5.0)**2) # normal distribution
}
# a is 20000 samples from e.
p a.length
h = a.group_by {|x| x }
-10.upto(10) {|x| puts "*" * (h[x].length/30.0).to_i if h[x] }
'
20000
*
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```