8 Common Sorting Algorithms with Python

This article will cover the 8 most commonly used sorting algorithms with Python.

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Bubble Sort

Bubble Sort is the simplest sorting algorithm that works by repeatedly swapping the adjacent elements if they are in wrong order. The following code snippet shows the simple implementation of Bubble sort sorting algorithm in Python.

Selection Sort

The selection sort algorithm sorts an array by repeatedly finding the minimum element (considering ascending order) from unsorted part and putting it at the beginning. The algorithm maintains two subarrays in a given array. Below snippet showcases the use-case of selection sort algorithm in python.

Insertion Sort

Insertion sort is a simple sorting algorithm that works similar to the way you sort playing cards in your hands. The array is virtually split into a sorted and an unsorted part. Values from the unsorted part are picked and placed at the correct position in the sorted part. Below snippet shows the how the algorithm works in python language.

Shell Sort

Shell sort is a generalized version of the insertion sort algorithm. It first sorts elements that are far apart from each other and successively reduces the interval between the elements to be sorted. The interval between the elements is reduced based on the sequence used as shown in the snippet below.

Heap Sort

Heap sort is a comparison-based sorting technique based on Binary Heap data structure. It is similar to selection sort where we first find the minimum element and place the minimum element at the beginning. We repeat the same process for the remaining elements.

Quick Sort

QuickSort is a Divide and Conquer algorithm. It picks an element as pivot and partitions the given array around the picked pivot. There are many different versions of quickSort that pick pivot in different ways. 

  1. Always pick first element as pivot.
  2. Always pick last element as pivot (implemented below)
  3. Pick a random element as pivot.
  4. Pick median as pivot.

The key process in quickSort is partition(). Target of partitions is, given an array and an element x of array as pivot, put x at its correct position in sorted array and put all smaller elements (smaller than x) before x, and put all greater elements (greater than x) after x. All this should be done in linear time.

Counting Sort

Counting Sort is a sorting technique based on keys between a specific range. It works by counting the number of objects having distinct key values (kind of hashing). Then doing some arithmetic to calculate the position of each object in the output sequence.

Merge Sort

Merge Sort is a Divide and Conquer algorithm. It divides the input array into two halves, calls itself for the two halves, and then merges the two sorted halves. The merge() function is used for merging two halves. The merge(arr, l, m, r) is a key process that assumes that arr[l..m] and arr[m+1..r] are sorted and merges the two sorted sub-arrays into one.

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