Sorting Techniques and Algorithms in Computer Science

  • c# restart service Many times in life, we come across a problem where we have a vast, unsorted amount of data which we need to organize in a coherent and recognizable manner. Sorting process comes into play here. There are a variety of methods that we use to organize and reconstruct data so that it flows into a pattern. Usually this pattern is something logical like alphabetical order, chronological order, ascending order etc. But there is always a method through which data is brought into such an order.

    Such methods are needed to bring all the data together to process it more easily. Without these methods, we would be grasping at straws whenever we required specific information. The methods of sorting I am going to mention in this article are put into practice by all of us in our daily lives without even consciously thinking about them. Our brains have been developed to bring order from chaos. Usually, sorting is done by comparing data elements in the list and reordering them until the required logical pattern is obtained.

    One method of doing this is selecting data elements one by one into order as we move along the list of elements. This is done by scanning the list and finding the element of maximum value and placing it on the top in each successive step. At the end, we have the data sorted. Known as Selection Sort, this is a very simple, but inefficient method of sorting for large lists.

    Another comparison sort, known as Bubble Sort, compares adjacent elements in a list of data and swaps them according to their values. However, one cycle of this is not enough and repeated cycles are needed to sort it completely. By the end, however, the result is the same as the Selection Sort. Bubble sort, however, is more efficient.

    Inserting data into a list according to its value is also a method commonly used to sort data. Here, an element is taken out and put into its required position by comparing with its preceding elements in the list. This is known as Insertion Sort. One variant of this is known as Gnome Sort. In Gnome Sort, every element is compared with the previous element in the list. If swapping occurs, it goes back one step. This is another efficient procedure like simple insertion sort. In fact, human beings sort by following Gnome Sort procedure.

    Understanding all the methods is very important and fundamental because as the world progresses, we humans are faced with ever increasing amounts of data that we simply cannot process manually. We need computers to do the work for us. All the methods mentioned above are actually various sorting algorithms used in Computer Science to help us sort and organize data in our daily lives. For large amounts of data, very like merge sort, heap sort and quick sort have evolved with this process still going on.

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