Sorting Algorithm

A sorting algorithm is a mathematical or logarithmic equation that organizes data structures in a computer program so that the system searches and finds data more efficiently. Many different sorting algorithms exist, and they’re based on different conditions and categories. Some sorting algorithms, due to what they prioritize, are better for different data arrays and situations than others. For instance, one algorithm may be much faster at sorting than another, but it’s also less stable, meaning that it will not keep a structure closest to its relative location to another structure. A slower algorithm (one that takes more time to sort through data) wouldn’t find things as quickly, but it might be more stable.

In sorting, time complexity is based on how many operations or actions (how much time) it takes to locate or arrange data structures in a search. Some types of algorithms are more efficient than others for searching. The letter O is used to indicate the time complexity component of sorting. The number of operations required to sort a data array does make a difference in search efficiency, especially if the system is searching through a large data pool.

Space complexity, on the other hand, is the amount of system power or memory an algorithm requires to run on the computer. This is also sometimes represented by O. There are mathematical ways to calculate the amount of computational memory required for a specific sorting algorithm.

Types of sorting algorithms

A wealth of sorting algorithms are available to database users. We’ve listed just a few:

  • Quick sort divides data into shorter arrays and sorts through them faster than going through just one list
  • Merge sort first splits the data array into two distinct arrays and sorts each half, then merges the data structures back into a single organized array
  • Insertion sort checks each structure (or item) one by one and moves it into position in the new order by comparing it to each other sequential structure


Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a writer for, Enterprise Storage Forum, and CIO Insight. She covers data storage systems and data management, information technology security, and enterprise software solutions.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Each generation of computer has brought significant advances in speed and power to computing tasks. Learn about each of the...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is a process that helps organizations determine the resources needed to...

Defense Advanced Research Projects...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a research and development agency...

XiaoBa Ransomware

XiaoBa is a type of file-encrypting ransomware that runs on Windows and encodes...