Algorithms

๐Ÿ› Bubble Sort

Module Summary: Learn how to implement bubble sort.

3 min read ยท 437 words

Bubble Sort Introduction

The first elementry sorting algorithm we will look at is bubble sort. Before you tackle bubble sort, you should be familiar with arrays.

How it Works

Bubble sort consists of moving through the list swapping adjacent items if they are out of order. Take a look at the following example:

Steps

With the above definition in mind, let's write the steps to implement bubble sort.

  1. Start at the beggining of array and compare the first 2 elements.
  2. If the first element is greater than the second element, swap them.
  3. Continue to the next pair of elements and compare them.
  4. When you get to the end of the array, repeat starting with the second element
  5. Continue until the array is sorted.

We can improve the algorithm slightly by adding a stop condition to the outer for loop if no swaps occur. This means the array is sorted and we do not need to keep checking.

Implementation

Let's take a look at an implementation of bubble sort.

Java

// Bubble Sort Implementation
// Input: Unsorted Array arr
// Output: Sorted Array

public static void bubbleSort(int array[]) {
        int temp;
        int numberOfItems = array.length;
        boolean cont = true;
        for (int pass = 1; pass != numberOfItems; pass++) {
            if (cont) {
                cont = false;
                for (int index = 0; index != numberOfItems - pass; index++) {
                    if (array[index] > (array[index + 1])) {
                        temp = array[index];
                        array[index] = array[index + 1];
                        array[index + 1] = temp;
                        cont = true;
                    } // end inner if
                } // end inner for
            } else
                break; // end outer if
        }

        System.out.println("Sorted file:");
        for (int i = 0; i < array.length; i++)
            System.out.print(array[i] + " ");
        System.out.println();
    }

Runtime Complexity

Best Case

The best case would be when the input n is already sorted. In this case, we would only have to go through the array once and the algorithm would run in linear time - O(n).

Worst Case

The worst case would be when the input n is in reverse order. In this case, each time we go through the array, we would be putting an element into its correct position. This would take O(n^2) time.

Average Case

The average case would be when the input n is randomly ordered. This runtime would also be O(n^2).

Last updated on January 29, 2022

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