Sorting Algorithms in Java

Are you always curious about programming languages? This is something that you want to learn but you do not know where to begin. The great thing about this is there are a lot of resources available. You can just choose the programming language that you want and start learning.

Out of all the available programming languages, people would normally choose to learn about Java. Why Java? This is known for its strong learning curve which means that even beginners or those who do not know about programming languages can start learning about this. It also has a strong developer community. Whenever you have some questions, you can count on developers to give you advice.

Sorting Algorithms in Java

One of the things that you have to become more familiar with is the sorting algorithms in Java. This is a type of algorithm that will place the different elements that you are sorting in order. Let us say that you would like to place the elements in alphabetical order. You can do this with the use of the sorting algorithm.

There are different things that you will encounter while studying sorting algorithms such as the following:

  • Implementation
  • Time Complexity
  • Data Structure

You need to be familiar with the different sorting algorithms that will be used too. There are different sorting algorithms available depending on the size of the data that you are going to sort and the data’s complexity.

Merge Sort

This is one of the most flexible sorting algorithms that people use when working in Java. It will use the divide and conquer strategy so that it can sort elements in an array. What people like about this is it does a stable sort. This means that there is no need to change the order of the different elements.

The strategy that this type of sort does is it breaks up the elements into smaller segments until there are only two available elements. These two elements will then be sorted until larger segments will start to form.

Insertion Sort

Let us say that you want to use sorting algorithms that are simpler than usual. You do not have to look any further because this is what you need. This is easy to understand plus the implementation will not be too complicated too. Insertion sort will pick up one element and will base the sorting on this key element.

This is the process that it will do:

  1. START
  2. It will repeat the different steps until the end of the array is reached.
  3. It will compare the chosen element with the previous element. If the element is smaller, this process will be repeated.
  4. It will keep shifting the different elements from the sorted section of the array.
  5. The current location of the array will be found.
  6. An increment loop variable will take place.
  7. END

Selection Sort

This is a type of sorting algorithm that is easy to use and implement. They are meant to create building blocks so that the concept that you are searching for will become obvious. Two loops that will be used for this.

  • Inner Loop – This will pick one element from the available array and it will be placed at the correct index depending on what will be indicated by the outer loop.
  • Outer Loop – The element will be shifted to the proper location on its array.

This type of sorting algorithm can also be used in other programming languages such as Python.

Bubble Sort

This is one of the sorting algorithms that people choose when they are still starting to learn more about Java and sorting algorithms. The con of this is it is not considered to be the most efficient. This will make use of multiple swaps. This is different from the Selection Sort that will only use a single swap. This type of algorithm will go through the elements repeatedly so that the elements that are not in their correct location will be swapped and placed in their correct positions.

Take note that these are just a few of the sorting algorithms that are available in Java. There is a lot more that you will learn when you begin to understand it better. Other examples of sorting algorithms are the following:

  • Heap Sort
  • Quick Sort
  • Shell Sort
  • Counting Sort
  • Bucket Sort

In Summary

The details may be a lot to take in when you are learning stuff for the first time. We aim to make things easier for you to understand. You can refer to this table to make things easier for you to understand:

Sorting AlgorithmApproach
Merge SortThis will split the existing array into sub-arrays so that different pairs will exist. They will be combined in their proper order.
Insertion SortThis will build a maximum or a minimum heap then it will extract the first element found in the heap. This will be sent to the end of the heap. Sorting will be done until there is only one node available.
Selection SortFor every sorting that will occur, the element will be compared to a predecessor. The elements will also be shifted until they reach their correct positions.
Bubble SortSwaps will be done so that the elements can eventually be placed at their right positions. This is also known as one of the most beginner-friendly sorting algorithms that can be used.


Sorting in Java may not be your favorite topic right now especially if you are still a beginner. There are so many things that you should know. The moment that you finally understand what each sort is for and how you are going to use them, you will feel like you have reached a great accomplishment. Remember that if you feel like you are stuck, there are a lot of resources that you can find online that will provide the information that you need.

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