# Sorting

**Sorting Algorithm**

This is a sorting algorithm. It may be applied to a set of data in order to sort it.
For comparing various sorts, see compare sorts.
For other sorting algorithms, see sorting algorithms, or:

**O(**

*n*log*n*) sortsHeap sort | Merge sort | Patience sort | Quick sort

**O( n log^{2}n) sorts**

Shell Sort

**O( n^{2}) sorts**

Bubble sort | Cocktail sort | Cocktail sort with shifting bounds | Comb sort | Cycle sort | Gnome sort | Insertion sort | Selection sort | Strand sort

**other sorts**

Bead sort |
Bogo sort |
Common sorted list |
Composite structures sort |
Custom comparator sort |
Counting sort |
Disjoint sublist sort |
External sort |
Jort sort |
Lexicographical sort |
Natural sorting |
Order by pair comparisons |
Order disjoint list items |
Order two numerical lists |
Object identifier (OID) sort |
Pancake sort |
Quickselect |
Permutation sort |
Radix sort |
Ranking methods |
Remove duplicate elements |
Sleep sort |
Stooge sort |
[Sort letters of a string] |
Three variable sort |
Topological sort |
Tree sort

**Sorting** is a way of arranging a group of things in a specified order. Normally, the order is a "natural order." Examples of natural orders are counting order or alphabetical order.

In computing, time and memory usage are of concern when sorting. Some algorithms are very fast, but use a lot of memory, or vice versa. Usually, speed has higher priority.

The speed of an algorithm is often determined by the number of compares and/or swaps required. This is denoted as its "order" and is shown in Big O notation.

For example, a Quicksort is usually noted for being of "order n log n" (where n is the size of the group). This shown in Big O notation as "O(*n log(n)*)."

Sorting algorithms often have different orders depending on characteristics of the group being sorted.

For example, the Quicksort will perform at O(*n^2*) when the group is already ordered. A sort which "swaps" elements within the group is called an "in-place sort." A sort which moves elements to another group, destroys, or simply ignores the original group is sometimes called an "out-of-place sort" or a "not-in-place sort." An example of an out-of-place sort is the counting sort.

For complete implementations of various sorting algorithms, see Category:Sorting Algorithms.

For examples of how to use sorting functionality provided by a language, see: