In Java programming, comparing three numbers to determine their relative sizes can be achieved through various approaches. This article presents a straightforward method to compare three numbers using conditional statements.

### Summary

When comparing three numbers in Java, the goal is to identify the largest and smallest among them. A common approach involves using nested `if-else` statements or a combination of logical operators to establish the order.

### Detailed Description

To compare three numbers, let's assume we have three integer variables `a`, `b`, and `c`. The following code snippet demonstrates how to find the largest and smallest among these numbers:

```java

public class CompareNumbers { public static void main(String[] args) { int a = 10;

int b = 20;

int c = 15;

// Assuming a, b, and c are distinct for simplicity

if (a > b) { if (a > c) { System.out.println("a is the largest: " + a);

} else { System.out.println("c is the largest: " + c);

}

} else { if (b > c) { System.out.println("b is the largest: " + b);

} else { System.out.println("c is the largest: " + c);

}

}

// Finding the smallest number

if (a < b) { if (a < c) { System.out.println("a is the smallest: " + a);

} else { System.out.println("c is the smallest: " + c);

}

} else { if (b < c) { System.out.println("b is the smallest: " + b);

} else { System.out.println("c is the smallest: " + c);

}

}

}}

```

This method uses a nested `if-else` structure to compare the numbers. However, a more concise approach is to use a temporary variable to hold the maximum or minimum value, which simplifies the code and makes it more readable.

Here's an improved version using temporary variables:

```java

public class CompareNumbers { public static void main(String[] args) { int a = 10;

int b = 20;

int c = 15;

int max = 0;

int min = 0;

// Find the maximum

max = (a > b) ? (a > c ? a : c) : (b > c ? b : c);

// Find the minimum

min = (a < b) ? (a < c ? a : c) : (b < c ? b : c);

System.out.println("Maximum value is: " + max);

System.out.println("Minimum value is: " + min);

}}

```

In this version, the ternary operator `(?:)` is used for a more compact comparison. It's a single-line alternative to the nested `if-else` structure and is often preferred for its readability when dealing with simple conditions.

### Conclusion

Comparing three numbers in Java is a fundamental task that can be completed using various techniques. The choice of method depends on the complexity of the problem and personal coding style. The presented approaches using nested `if-else` statements and ternary operators are effective for this purpose and should be included in every Java developer's toolkit.