I have a ranked list (series) of documents. I want to divide it into some buckets.

For example, if I represent a document with a number and have the list [2, 8, 3, 1, 4, 9, 5, 7] and I want to divide it into three buckets I can have [2], [8, 3, 1, 4], [9, 5, 7]. Note that the order is preserved.

What should I call this process? Is it chunking the list into some buckets? or is it segementing it into some buckets? or splitting into some buckets? or dividing into some buckets? or ...

I need it for a paper, and thus want the most formal and natural word.

  • The mathematical term is called grouping. The buckets are groups. The industrial term is called binning - bins. The high school maths term is called categorizing - categories. The mathematical fields of studies using these are Statistics and Group Theory. Group Theory goes into very simple to extremely complex ways to imbue relationships to group items. As far as I can see, therefore, you should use whatever term that makes sense to you. – Blessed Geek May 17 '15 at 18:17

You're dividing your list into "compartments", you're compartmentalizing it.

  • "compartment" - an enclosed space or area that is usually part of something larger and is often used to hold a specific thing MW

  • "compartmentalize" - to separate (something) into sections or categories. MW; To separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments TFD

From Google Books "Compartmentalize with Modules" (title)

You could also say you're dividing your list into "cells"

  • I agree. Compartmentalizing seems more appropriate than categorizing in OP's exact context (the compartments appear to be arbitrary, so their contents aren't meaningfully categorized). But I'd say that on average to compartmentalize has negative connotations. Presumably because of that "arbitrary division", which often wrongly implies that the contents of any given compartment have little or no relationship to the contents of any other compartment. – FumbleFingers May 17 '15 at 17:28
  • According to the previous work, the parts are called buckets. So I want to use it. – Shayan May 17 '15 at 17:44

If you plan to use a verb to describe the process, I would go with "subdivide". I think that grouping is also good, but "subdivide" gets closer to conveying that the order is preserved. Grouping implies that you are taking something and splitting it into categories based on certain criteria. "Subdivide" gets closer to conveying that the order is preserved.

I don't personally like compartmentalize in this situation. In my mind, that means that you are taking something and walling it off from being affected by other things. Most often, it is used in reference to the mind rather than physical things. If you are able to "compartmentalize" your life, it means, for example, that you are able to leave the stress of work at work and enjoy your home life without one affecting the other.

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