Bubble sort: An archaeological algorithmic analysis

Published

Journal Article

Text books, including books for general audiences, invariably mention bubble sort in discussions of elementary sorting algorithms. We trace the history of bubble sort, its popularity, and its endurance in the face of pedagogical assertions that code and algorithmic examples used in early courses should be of high quality and adhere to established best practices. This paper is more an historical analysis than a philosophical treatise for the exclusion of bubble sort from books and courses. However, sentiments for exclusion are supported by Knuth [17], "In short, the bubble sort seems to have nothing to recommend it, except a catchy name and the fact that it leads to some interesting theoretical problems." Although bubble sort may not be a best practice sort, perhaps the weight of history is more than enough to compensate and provide for its longevity.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Astrachan, O

Published Date

  • July 17, 2003

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 5

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0097-8418

Citation Source

  • Scopus