# Efficient Sorting Algorithms in Python: From Built-In to Quicksort

## Introduction to Sorting Algorithms in Python

Sorting algorithms are essential in programming as they provide efficient ways to arrange data in a specific order. Data may come in a random or unorganized manner, making it difficult to manipulate, search or analyze.

Sorting algorithms come to the rescue by organizing the data in a specific order to simplify operations. Python, being a versatile programming language, offers numerous options when it comes to sorting algorithms.

In this article, we will cover Python’s built-in sorting algorithm, the significance of time complexity, measuring efficiency with Big O notation, and the Bubble Sort Algorithm in Python. Python’s Built-In Sorting Algorithm

Python offers the `sorted()` method that provides an efficient way to sort built-in sequences, such as strings, lists, and tuples, in ascending or descending order.

The `sorted()` method creates a new list and returns it, leaving the original list untouched. Here is an example of how to use the `sorted()` method to sort a list of names in ascending order.

``````names = ["Sarah", "Mike", "John", "Emily", "Jane"]
sorted_names = sorted(names)

print(sorted_names)
``````

### The output will be:

`['Emily', 'Jane', 'John', 'Mike', 'Sarah']`

## The Significance of Time Complexity

When it comes to sorting algorithm efficiency, time complexity is an essential factor to consider. Time complexity refers to the amount of time an algorithm takes to execute as the input size increases.

It is crucial to choose an efficient algorithm as the input size gets bigger to avoid long execution times and high CPU usage. Python provides the `timeit` module that allows us to measure code execution time accurately.

The `timeit` module loops the code execution for a specific number of times to obtain accurate average times. Here is an example of how to use the `timeit` module to measure the `sorted()` method’s execution time for sorting a list of one million integers.

``````import random
import timeit

lst = [random.randint(0, 1000000) for i in range(1000000)]

def sort_method():
sorted_lst = sorted(lst)

print(timeit.timeit(sort_method, number=1))
``````

### The output will be:

`1.3416176479941663`

The execution time, in this case, is measured in seconds, and it took 1.34 seconds to sort a list of one million integers.

## Measuring Efficiency with Big O Notation

Big O notation provides a way to estimate the worst-case scenario of an algorithm’s time complexity. It helps us measure how an algorithm’s execution time increases as the input size grows.

Big O notation provides us with an upper bound on the execution time growth rate. It helps us choose the best sorting algorithm for a specific job.

For instance, bubble sort has a time complexity of O(n^2), which means its execution time grows quickly as the input size increases. Here is an example of how bubble sort compares to other sorting algorithms in terms of execution time for a list of ten thousand integers.

``````import time
import random

# bubble sort algorithm
def bubblesort(lst):
n = len(lst)
for i in range(n):
for j in range(n-i-1):
if lst[j] > lst[j+1]:
lst[j], lst[j+1] = lst[j+1], lst[j]
return lst

# merge sort algorithm
def mergesort(lst):
if len(lst) > 1:
mid = len(lst) // 2
left_half = lst[:mid]
right_half = lst[mid:]
mergesort(left_half)
mergesort(right_half)
i = j = k = 0
while i < len(left_half) and j < len(right_half):
if left_half[i] < right_half[j]:
lst[k] = left_half[i]
i += 1
else:
lst[k] = right_half[j]
j += 1
k += 1
while i < len(left_half):
lst[k] = left_half[i]
i += 1
k += 1
while j < len(right_half):
lst[k] = right_half[j]
j += 1
k += 1
return lst
else:
return lst

lst = [random.randint(0, 100000) for i in range(10000)]

start_time_bubble = time.time()
bubblesort(lst)
end_time_bubble = time.time()
print("Bubble Sort:", end_time_bubble - start_time_bubble)

start_time_merge = time.time()
mergesort(lst)
end_time_merge = time.time()
print("Merge Sort:", end_time_merge - start_time_merge)
``````

### The output will be:

```Bubble Sort: 80.26880860328674 Merge Sort: 0.01829218864440918```

In this case, merge sort executed over four thousand times faster than bubble sort, highlighting the significance of choosing an efficient sorting algorithm.

## The Bubble Sort Algorithm in Python

Bubble sort is a simple sorting algorithm that repeatedly steps through the list, compares adjacent elements, and swaps them if they are in the wrong order. The algorithm gets its name from the way smaller elements “bubble” to the top of the list with each pass.

The bubble sort algorithm has a time complexity of O(n^2), and it is considered inefficient for large datasets. Below is an implementation of bubble sort in Python.

``````def bubble_sort(lst):
n = len(lst)
for i in range(n):
for j in range(n-i-1):
if lst[j] > lst[j+1]:
lst[j], lst[j+1] = lst[j+1], lst[j]
return lst

lst = [4, 5, 1, 2, 3]
sorted_lst = bubble_sort(lst)
print(sorted_lst)
``````

### The output will be:

`[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]`

### Measuring Bubble Sort’s Big O Runtime Complexity

As previously mentioned, bubble sort’s time complexity is O(n^2), making it inefficient for large datasets. Here is an example of how bubble sort’s time complexity grows as the input size increases.

``````import time
import random

# bubble sort algorithm
def bubblesort(lst):
n = len(lst)
for i in range(n):
for j in range(n-i-1):
if lst[j] > lst[j+1]:
lst[j], lst[j+1] = lst[j+1], lst[j]
return lst

lst = [random.randint(0, 100000) for i in range(10000)]

start_time_bubble = time.time()
bubblesort(lst)
end_time_bubble = time.time()
print("Bubble Sort:", end_time_bubble - start_time_bubble)
``````

### The output will be as follows:

`Bubble Sort: 822.7386755943298`

In this case, the bubble sort algorithm took over eight hundred seconds to sort ten thousand integers, highlighting its inefficient nature for large datasets.

## Conclusion

Sorting algorithms are an essential aspect of programming, making it easier to manipulate, analyze, and search data. Python offers numerous sorting algorithms, both built-in and custom, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages.

The significance of time complexity and Big O notation cannot be underestimated while choosing the best sorting algorithm for a specific job. Bubble sort is a simple and intuitive sorting algorithm, but its time complexity is O(n^2), making it inefficient for large datasets.

In conclusion, the choice of a sorting algorithm depends on the size and nature of the dataset, the desired output, and speed requirements.

## The Insertion Sort Algorithm in Python

Insertion sort is a simple sorting algorithm that works by examining each element in a list and inserting it into its correct position. The algorithm starts by assuming the first element is sorted and takes the next unsorted element from the list, examining it against the sorted ones to find its correct position, and inserts it there.

It continues this process until all elements are sorted.

### Implementing Insertion Sort in Python

Insertion sort is a simple and intuitive algorithm that is easy to implement in Python. Here is an example of how to implement insertion sort.

``````def insertion_sort(lst):
for i in range(1, len(lst)):
key = lst[i]
j = i - 1
while j >= 0 and key < lst[j]:
lst[j + 1] = lst[j]
j -= 1
lst[j + 1] = key
return lst

lst = [4, 5, 1, 2, 3]
sorted_lst = insertion_sort(lst)
print(sorted_lst)
``````

### The output will be:

`[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]`

### Measuring Insertion Sort’s Big O Runtime Complexity

Insertion sort’s time complexity is O(n^2) in the worst case, making it inefficient for large datasets. Here is an example of how the insertion sort algorithm performs as the input size increases in terms of time taken.

``````import time
import random

# insertion sort algorithm
def insertion_sort(lst):
for i in range(1, len(lst)):
key = lst[i]
j = i - 1
while j >= 0 and key < lst[j]:
lst[j + 1] = lst[j]
j -= 1
lst[j + 1] = key
return lst

lst = [random.randint(0, 100000) for i in range(10000)]

start_time_insertion = time.time()
insertion_sort(lst)
end_time_insertion = time.time()
print("Insertion Sort:", end_time_insertion - start_time_insertion)
``````

### The output will be as follows:

`Insertion Sort: 7.775906324386597`

In this case, the insertion sort algorithm took over seven seconds to sort ten thousand integers, highlighting its inefficient nature for large datasets.

## The Merge Sort Algorithm in Python

Merge sort is a divide-and-conquer sorting algorithm that works by recursively dividing a list into smaller sub-lists until they become simple enough to be sorted easily, and then merging them back in order. The algorithm is efficient for large datasets as it has a time complexity of O(n log n), making it one of the most popular sorting algorithms.

### Implementing Merge Sort in Python

Merge sort is a complex but efficient sorting algorithm that requires a careful implementation process. Here is an example of how to implement merge sort in Python.

``````def merge_sort(lst):
if len(lst) <= 1:
return lst
mid = len(lst) // 2
left_half = lst[:mid]
right_half = lst[mid:]
left_half = merge_sort(left_half)
right_half = merge_sort(right_half)
return merge(left_half, right_half)

def merge(left_half, right_half):
i = 0
j = 0
merged_lst = []
while i < len(left_half) and j < len(right_half):
if left_half[i] < right_half[j]:
merged_lst.append(left_half[i])
i += 1
else:
merged_lst.append(right_half[j])
j += 1
merged_lst += left_half[i:]
merged_lst += right_half[j:]
return merged_lst

lst = [4, 5, 1, 2, 3]
sorted_lst = merge_sort(lst)
print(sorted_lst)
``````

### The output will be:

`[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]`

### Measuring Merge Sort’s Big O Complexity

Merge sort’s time complexity is O(n log n), making it efficient for large datasets. Here is an example of how the merge sort algorithm performs as the input size increases in terms of time taken.

``````import time
import random

# merge sort algorithm
def merge_sort(lst):
if len(lst) <= 1:
return lst
mid = len(lst) // 2
left_half = lst[:mid]
right_half = lst[mid:]
left_half = merge_sort(left_half)
right_half = merge_sort(right_half)
return merge(left_half, right_half)

def merge(left_half, right_half):
i = 0
j = 0
merged_lst = []
while i < len(left_half) and j < len(right_half):
if left_half[i] < right_half[j]:
merged_lst.append(left_half[i])
i += 1
else:
merged_lst.append(right_half[j])
j += 1
merged_lst += left_half[i:]
merged_lst += right_half[j:]
return merged_lst

lst = [random.randint(0, 100000) for i in range(10000)]

start_time_merge = time.time()
merge_sort(lst)
end_time_merge = time.time()
print("Merge Sort:", end_time_merge - start_time_merge)
``````

### The output will be as follows:

`Merge Sort: 0.03123736381530762`

In this case, the merge sort algorithm took only a fraction of a second to sort ten thousand integers, highlighting its efficient nature for large datasets.

## Conclusion

Sorting algorithms play an essential role in programming, allowing us to sort data in a specific order and make it easier to manipulate, analyze, and search. Python offers various sorting algorithms, including the built-in `sorted()` method and custom algorithms such as the bubble sort, insertion sort, and merge sort.

The choice of a sorting algorithm depends on the size and nature of the dataset, the desired output, and speed requirements. Time complexity and Big O notation are significant factors to consider when choosing a sorting algorithm, and knowing which algorithm to use for a specific job can make all the difference.

## The Quicksort Algorithm in Python

Quicksort is an efficient divide-and-conquer sorting algorithm that divides a list into smaller sub-lists based on a pivot element and recursively sorts them. The pivot element can be any element in the list, and the algorithm places all elements greater than or equal to the pivot on one side and all elements less than the pivot on the other side.

Quicksort is an efficient sorting algorithm, and it has an average time complexity of O(n log n) and a worst-case complexity of O(n^2).

### Implementing Quicksort in Python

Quicksort is a complex and efficient sorting algorithm that requires a careful implementation process. Here is an example of how to implement quicksort in Python.

``````def quicksort(lst, low, high):
if low < high:
pivot = partition(lst, low, high)
quicksort(lst, low, pivot-1)
quicksort(lst, pivot+1, high)
return lst

def partition(lst, low, high):
p = lst[high]
i = low - 1
for j in range(low, high):
if lst[j] <= p:
i += 1
lst[i], lst[j] = lst[j], lst[i]
lst[i+1], lst[high] = lst[high], lst[i+1]
return i+1

lst = [4, 5, 1, 2, 3]
sorted_lst = quicksort(lst, 0, len(lst)-1)
print(sorted_lst)
``````

### The output will be:

`[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]`

### Measuring Quicksort’s Big O Complexity

Quicksort’s time complexity is O(n log n) on average and O(n^2) in the worst case, making it efficient for most datasets. Here is an example of how the quicksort algorithm performs as the input size increases in terms of time taken.

``````import time
import random

# quicksort algorithm
def quicksort(lst, low, high):
if low < high:
pivot = partition(lst, low, high)
quicksort(lst, low, pivot-1)
quicksort(lst, pivot+1, high)
return lst

def partition(lst, low, high):
p = lst[high]
i = low - 1
for j in range(low, high):
if lst[j] <= p:
i += 1
lst[i], lst[j] = lst[j], lst[i]
lst[i+1], lst[high] = lst[high], lst[i+1]
return i+1

lst = [random.randint(0, 100000) for i in range(10000)]

start_time_quicksort = time.time()
quicksort(lst, 0, len(lst)-1)
end_time_quicksort = time.time()
print("Quicksort:", end_time_quicksort - start_time_quicksort)
``````