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What is the Bubble Sort Algorithm for Numbers?by@ishitajuneja
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What is the Bubble Sort Algorithm for Numbers?

by Ishita JunejaJune 27th, 2023
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The Bubble Sort algorithm is a comparison-based sorting technique that repeatedly compares adjacent elements and swaps them if they are in the wrong order. The algorithm proceeds iteratively until the entire list is sorted. It has a time complexity of O(n^2), where n represents the number of elements in the list.
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Sorting is a fundamental operation in computer science, and various algorithms have been developed to arrange elements in a specific order efficiently.


One such algorithm is the Bubble Sort, a simple yet effective sorting technique.


In this article, we will delve into the concept of the Bubble Sort algorithm for numbers, explore its working principle, analyze its time complexity, and highlight its significance in sorting applications.


Additionally, we will touch upon Kadane's algorithm, another important algorithm in computer science.


So, let's dive into the details.


The Bubble Sort Algorithm

The Bubble Sort algorithm is a comparison-based sorting technique that repeatedly compares adjacent elements and swaps them if they are in the wrong order.


It derives its name from how smaller elements "bubble" to the top of the list, similar to bubbles rising in a liquid.


The algorithm proceeds iteratively until the entire list is sorted.


Let's understand the key steps involved in the Bubble Sort algorithm:


  • Starting from the beginning of the list, compare each pair of adjacent elements.
  • If the elements are in the wrong order (e.g., the current element is greater than the next element in ascending order), swap them.
  • Move to the next pair of elements and repeat the comparison and swapping process.
  • Continue this process until no more swaps are needed, indicating that the list is sorted.


Bubble Sort Algorithm Example:


Consider an unsorted list of numbers: [5, 2, 8, 1, 3]


First iteration:


Compare 5 and 2. Swap them as 5 > 2. List: [2, 5, 8, 1, 3]

Compare 5 and 8. No swapping is needed. List: [2, 5, 8, 1, 3]

Compare 8 and 1. Swap them as 8 > 1. List: [2, 5, 1, 8, 3]

Compare 8 and 3. Swap them as 8 > 3. List: [2, 5, 1, 3, 8]


Second iteration:


Compare 2 and 5. No swapping is needed. List: [2, 5, 1, 3, 8]

Compare 5 and 1. Swap them as 5 > 1. List: [2, 1, 5, 3, 8]

Compare 5 and 3. Swap them as 5 > 3. List: [2, 1, 3, 5, 8]


Third iteration:


Compare 2 and 1. Swap them as 2 > 1. List: [1, 2, 3, 5, 8]

Compare 2 and 3. No swapping is needed. List: [1, 2, 3, 5, 8]

The above process continues until no more swaps are required. The resulting sorted list is [1, 2, 3, 5, 8].


Time Complexity Analysis:


The Bubble Sort algorithm has a time complexity of O(n^2), where n represents the number of elements in the list. This is because, in the worst-case scenario, where the list is in descending order, each element needs to be compared and swapped with all other elements. The algorithm requires n-1 iterations for n elements, resulting in quadratic time complexity.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Bubble Sort Algorithm


Advantages


Simplicity: The simplicity of the Bubble Sort algorithm makes it easy to understand and implement. It involves comparing and swapping adjacent elements, making them accessible for beginners or educational purposes.


Space Efficiency: Bubble Sort operates in place, meaning it does not require additional memory to perform the sorting operation. It sorts the elements within the given array itself, making it memory-efficient.


Stable Sorting: This sorting algorithm is stable sorting algorithm, which means it maintains the relative order of elements with equal values. If two elements have the same value, their order will remain unchanged after sorting.


Adaptability: This can be adapted to handle various scenarios. For example, by introducing an optimized version called the "Flagged Bubble Sort" or "Modified Bubble Sort," unnecessary iterations can be avoided when the array is already sorted.


Disadvantages


Inefficiency for Large Data Sets: The bubble Sort algorithm has a time complexity of O(n^2), making it inefficient for large data sets. As the number of elements increases, the number of comparisons and swaps grows exponentially, leading to longer execution times.


Poor Performance: This algorithm is known for its poor performance compared to other sorting algorithms, especially when dealing with large or nearly sorted arrays. It requires multiple passes through the entire array, even partially sorted.


Lack of Optimization: The algorithm's nature limits its optimization potential. Unlike more efficient sorting algorithms such as Quick Sort or Merge Sort, Bubble Sort lacks techniques like partitioning or dividing the array, resulting in slower execution times.


Limited Practical Use: Due to its inefficiency, Bubble Sort is rarely used in practical applications where large data sets must be sorted quickly. Other sorting algorithms, such as Merge Sort or Quick Sort, offer better performance and are preferred in real-world scenarios.


Kadane's Algorithm


While discussing sorting algorithms, it is worth mentioning Kadane's algorithm, which is used for solving the maximum subarray problem.


This algorithm efficiently finds the contiguous subarray within a given array with the largest sum. It has a time complexity of O(n) and is widely used in various applications, including data analysis and financial calculations.


Alternative Sorting Algorithms


Quick Sort: Quick Sort is a divide-and-conquer algorithm that partitions the array based on a chosen pivot element and recursively sorts the sub-arrays on either side of the pivot.


Merge Sort: Merge Sort is another divide-and-conquer algorithm that divides the array into smaller sub-arrays, sorts them individually, and then merges them to obtain the sorted result.


Heap Sort: Heap Sort utilizes a binary heap data structure to sort the elements. It involves building a heap from the array and repeatedly extracting the maximum element to place it at the end of the sorted array.


Insertion Sort: Insertion Sort works by iteratively inserting each element from an unsorted portion of the array into its correct position within the sorted portion.


Selection Sort: Selection Sort finds the minimum (or maximum) element in each pass and places it in its correct position. It repeatedly selects the smallest element and swaps it with the current position.


Radix Sort: Radix Sort is a non-comparative sorting algorithm that sorts elements by their individual digits or bits. Using counting or bucket-based techniques, it processes the elements digit by digit, from the least significant to the most significant.


Conclusion


The Bubble Sort algorithm, with its straightforward implementation, provides a basic understanding of sorting techniques. It efficiently sorts a given list of numbers through repeated comparisons and swaps. Although it may not be the most efficient algorithm for large datasets, it has significance in small-scale or nearly sorted scenarios.


Additionally, the article touched upon Kadane's algorithm, which is instrumental in solving the maximum subarray problem.


By exploring different sorting algorithms and their applications, developers can select the most suitable approach based on the specific requirements of their projects.