# Comparing Bubble and Quick Sorting Algorithms

Published on Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Imagine you’re building an app and need to sort a massive list of data – maybe product prices, customer names, or high scores. Choosing the right sorting algorithm can make a huge difference in performance. Today, we’ll pit two popular contenders against each other: **bubble** and **quick**.

Before we dive into the code, let’s briefly explore the basics of both algorithms. If you’re eager to see the action, feel free to jump straight to the code comparison here.

*Bubble* Sort

The best fact about the bubble sorting algorithm is, arguably, the speculation on when it was invented. It was first described in *1955* (published *1956*) by **Edward Harry Friend**, he called this a *sorting exchange algorithm*. This went unnoticed for years, until **Kenneth E. Iverson** found it in *1962* and coined the name `Bubble`

sort.

The worst-case performance of this is $O(n^2)$.

**The Bubble Sort** is a simple, yet often inefficient, sorting algorithm. It’s a classic choice for beginners due to its straightforward logic, but it’s not the best option for large datasets.

### A Brief History

The bubble sort was first described in 1955 (published in 1956) by Edward Harry Friend, who referred to it as a “sorting exchange algorithm.” However, it remained relatively unknown until Kenneth E. Iverson rediscovered it in 1962 and coined the name “Bubble Sort.”

### How It Works

The bubble sort works by repeatedly stepping through the list, comparing adjacent pairs of elements and swapping them if they are in the wrong order. This process is repeated until no swaps are needed, indicating that the list is sorted.

### Time Complexity

The worst-case time complexity of the bubble sort is **O(n^2)**, which means it’s not suitable for large datasets. In the best case, when the list is already sorted, the bubble sort has a time complexity of **O(n)**. However, this is rare in practice.

### Advantages and Disadvantages

**Advantages:**

- Simple to understand and implement
- Can be useful for small datasets or nearly sorted lists

**Disadvantages:**

- Inefficient for large datasets
- Slow compared to other sorting algorithms

### When to Use Bubble Sort

While bubble sort is not the most efficient sorting algorithm, it can be a good choice for:

**Small datasets:**When the number of elements is small, the overhead of more complex algorithms might not be justified.**Nearly sorted lists:**If the list is almost sorted, bubble sort can be efficient.**Educational purposes:**It’s a good algorithm to learn from due to its simplicity.

*Quick* Sort

**Quicksort** is a powerful sorting algorithm that’s a staple in computer science. It’s known for its speed and efficiency, making it a popular choice for various applications.

### A Brief History

Quicksort was first described in 1959 (published in 1961) by the renowned British computer scientist Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare. His innovative approach to sorting using a divide-and-conquer strategy has had a lasting impact on the field of algorithms.

### How It Works

Quicksort operates on the principle of divide and conquer:

**Partitioning:**Choose a pivot element from the unsorted list.**Rearrangement:**Rearrange the list so that elements smaller than the pivot are on one side, and elements larger than the pivot are on the other.**Recursive Sorting:**Recursively apply quicksort to the sublists on both sides of the pivot.

### Time Complexity

The efficiency of quicksort heavily depends on the choice of pivot elements. With a good choice of pivots, quicksort can achieve an average-case time complexity of $O(n \log n)$, making it one of the fastest sorting algorithms. This means the number of comparisons it takes to sort a list grows proportionally to the logarithm of the number of elements.

However, quicksort’s Achilles’ heel is its worst-case performance. If the pivot element consistently ends up being the largest or smallest element in the list, the algorithm can degenerate to $O(n^2)$ complexity. This can happen with already sorted or reverse-sorted data.

### Advantages and Disadvantages

**Advantages:**

- Efficient for large datasets
- Generally faster than bubble sort and insertion sort
- Can be implemented in-place

**Disadvantages:**

- Worst-case time complexity of $O(n^2)$
- Can be less stable than other sorting algorithms

### When to Use Quicksort

Quicksort is a great choice for:

**Large datasets:**Its average-case efficiency makes it well-suited for sorting large lists.**General-purpose sorting:**It’s a versatile algorithm that can be used in various applications.

**However,** if you’re dealing with already sorted or nearly sorted data, quicksort might not be the best option due to its potential for worst-case performance. In such cases, other algorithms like merge sort or heap sort might be more suitable.

**In conclusion,** quicksort is a powerful and efficient sorting algorithm that’s widely used in computer science. Understanding its principles and limitations can help you make informed decisions when choosing a sorting algorithm for your specific needs.

## The Clash

We put both algorithms to the test with a battlefield of 3500 random numbers. Now, let’s see who emerges victorious!

Now that we have some data to test on, we want to add the algorithm for the **bubble sort**. This goes as follows.

And of course the **quick sort** as well, otherwise we won’t have anything to compare against.

Now, let’s test the two against one another.

### Delve deeper:

For even more sorting options, explore our collection of sorting algorithms. Want to get your hands dirty with the code? Head over to **bubble sort VS. quick sort Implementation**.

## The Winner

Brace yourselves! The benchmark revealed that the **quick sort** is a staggering **39701.00x** faster than its competitor! That translates to running the quick sort almost 39702 times in the time it takes the bubble sort to complete once!

### The A.I. Nicknames the Winners:

We consulted a top-notch AI to give our champion a superhero nickname. From this day forward, the **quick sort** shall be known as ** The Quickfire Ninja**! The bubble sort, while valiant, deserves recognition too. We present to you,

**!**

*The Bubble Buster*### The Choice is Yours, Young Padawan

So, does this mean the quick sort is the undisputed king of all sorting algorithms? Not necessarily. Different algorithms have their own strengths and weaknesses. But understanding their efficiency (which you can learn more about in the Big-O Notation post) helps you choose the best tool for the job!

This vast world of sorting algorithms holds countless possibilities. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover the next champion with lightning speed or memory-saving magic!

This showdown hopefully shed light on the contrasting speeds of *bubble* and *quick* sorting algorithms. Stay tuned for more algorithm explorations on the blog.