RANDOMIZED-SELECTnever makes a recursive call to a 0-length array.
The are two cases where it appears that
RANDOMIZED-SELECT can make a call to
a 0-length array:
- Line 8 with $k = 1$. But for this to happen, $i$ needs to be 0. And that cannot happen since the initial call is supposed to pass a nonzero $i$ and the recursive calls either pass $i$ unmodified or pass $i - k$ where $i > k$.
- Line 9 with $q = r$. But for this to happen, $i$ must be greater than $k$, that is $i > q - p + 1 = r - p + 1$, that is, $i$ needs to be greater than the number of elements in the array. Initially that is not true and both recursive calls maintain an invariant that $i$ is less or equal to the number of elements in $A[p..q]$.