# How Does Bubble Sort Work in Data Structure?

//

Larry Thompson

How Does Bubble Sort Work in Data Structure?

Bubble sort is a popular sorting algorithm used in computer science to arrange elements in a specific order. It is simple to understand and implement, making it a great choice for beginners learning about data structures and algorithms.

Overview:

Before diving into the inner workings of bubble sort, let’s first understand the basic idea behind this algorithm. Bubble sort works by repeatedly swapping adjacent elements if they are in the wrong order. This process continues until the entire list is sorted.

The Algorithm:

The bubble sort algorithm can be broken down into the following steps:

1. Start at the beginning of the list.
2. Compare each pair of adjacent elements.
3. If they are in the wrong order, swap them.
4. Move to the next pair of elements and repeat steps 2-3.
5. Continue this process until no more swaps are needed.

An Example:

To better illustrate how bubble sort works, let’s consider an example with an unsorted list of integers: [7, 3, 5, 1, 9]. We’ll go through each step of the algorithm to see how it gradually sorts the list:

1. Pass 1:
• Comparing [7] and [3]: Swap them -> [3, 7, 5, 1, 9]
• Comparing [7] and [5]: No swap needed
• Comparing [7] and [1]: Swap them -> [3, 5, 7, 1, 9]
• Comparing [7] and [9]: No swap needed
2. Pass 2:
• Comparing [3] and [5]: No swap needed
• Comparing [5] and [7]: No swap needed
• Comparing [7] and [1]: Swap them -> [3, 5, 1, 7, 9]
• Comparing [7] and [9]: No swap needed
3. Pass 3:
• Comparing [3] and [5]: No swap needed
• Comparing [5] and [1]: Swap them -> [3, 1, 5, 7, 9]
• Comparing [5] and [7]: No swap needed
• Comparing [7] and [9]: No swap needed

Note: The number of passes is equal to the number of elements minus one.

The Complexity:

Bubble sort is not the most efficient sorting algorithm. Its average-case time complexity is O(n^2), where n is the number of elements in the list. This means that as the size of the list increases, the time taken to sort it grows exponentially.

In Conclusion:

Bubble sort is a simple yet inefficient sorting algorithm. While it may not be the most practical choice for large datasets, it is still valuable for educational purposes and understanding the basics of sorting. It’s important to explore other sorting algorithms like merge sort or quicksort for better efficiency in real-world scenarios.

Remember to always analyze the requirements and constraints of your specific use case before deciding on the most suitable sorting algorithm.