Sorting Algorithms In VB

All too often in an application, there’s a need to sort a list of items. In this article, I will cover some of the more common sorting algorithms and give a few tips on choosing the right one for the job. I will cover the classic “Bubble sort” and “Insertion sort,” right through to the difficult “Exchange sort” and “Stack sort.” Then, you will look into a “Hybrid sort” that is a mix of the “Insertion and Stack sort” algorithms. You also will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each sorting algorithm.

First, look at a list of different sorting algorithms with a short list of details. ‘Stable’ refers to the ability of the sort algorithm to keep identical items in the original order.

Sort Name Method Stable? Short Description
Bubble Sort Exchanging Yes Basic two-loop sort
Cocktail Sort Exchanging Yes Bi-directional Bubble sort
Comb Sort Exchanging No Faster variation of the Bubble sort
Gnome Sort Exchanging Yes Hybrid (Bubble and Insertion Sort)
Selection Sort Selection No In-place comparison sort
Insertion Sort Insertion Yes Simple comparison sort
Shell Sort Insertion No Generalization of insertion sort
Binary tree sort Insertion Yes Builds a Binary tree of the data and uses the tree to sort
Library Sort Insertion Yes Insertion sort that leaves gaps in the list for subsequent elements
Merge Sort Merging Yes A divide, sort, and merge algorithm
In-Place Merge Sort Merging Yes Space-optimised version of the merge sort
Heap Sort Selection No Two-stage comparison style sort
Smooth Sort Selection No Small variation of a Heap sort
Quick Sort Partitioning No Recursive partition and sort
Intro Sort Hybrid No Hybrid of quick sort and heap sort
Patience Sorting Insertion No Statistical ordering of elements
Stand Sort Selection Yes Useful for data which is stored in a linked list

There are still more sorting algorithms and methods, but some require specific hardware, like the “Bead sort” and “Network Sort,” and others are so impractical that they exist solely for demonstration purposes, like the “Bogo Sort” and “Stooge Sort” (named after the Three Stooges).

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