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C Programming and Data Structures (17 Blogs)

Bubble sort in C is a simple sorting algorithm which repeatedly compares the adjacent elements of the given array & swaps them if they are in the wrong order. You might be wondering about the name Bubble Sort. Following are the Pointers Covered in this article:

- What is a Bubble Sort in C?
- Algorithm of Bubble Sort
- Example of Bubble Sort in C
- Bubble Sort Function
- Bubble Sort in C Program

The sorting technique is called so because the algorithm acts like a bubble, the lighter elements come up and heavier elements settle down. Bubble Sort algorithm sorts the list in passes. Now, to sort a list with n elements Bubble sort requires n-1 passes. To make it clearer, let’s understand this step by step.

**Pass 1**:- X[0] & X[1] are compared, and swapped if X[0] > X[1]
- X[1] & X[2] are compared, and swapped if X[1] > X[2]
- X[2] & X[3] are compared, and swapped if X[2] > X[3] and so on…
*At the end of pass 1, the largest element of the list is placed at the highest index of the list.*

**Pass 2:**

- X[0] & X[1] are compared, and swapped if X[0] > X[1]
- X[1] & X[2] are compared, and swapped if X[1] > X[2]
- X[2] & X[3] are compared, and swapped if X[2] > X[3] and so on…
*At the end of Pass 2 the second largest element of the list is placed at the second-highest index of the list.*

**Pass n-1:**

**Array:** -5, 35, 2, 13, -15

**Pass 1**

- (
**-5, 35**, 2, 13, -15) –> (**-5, 35**, 2, 13, -15), Here, algorithm compares the first two elements. - ( -5,
**35, 2**, 13, -15) –> (-5,**2, 35**, 13, -15), Swap since 35 > 2 - ( -5, 2,
**35, 13**, -15) –> (-5, 2,**13, 35**, -15), Swap since 35 > 13 **( -5, 2, 13, 35, -15) –> (-5, 2, 13, -15, 35), Swap since 35 > -15**

*The last element is the largest element.*

**Pass 2**

- (
**-5, 2**, 13, -15, 35) –> (-**5, 2**, 13, -15, 35) - (-5,
**2, 13,**35, -15) –> (-5,**2, 13**, -15, 35) - (-5, 2,
**13, -15**, 35) –> (-5, 2,**-15, 13**, 35), Swap since 13 > -15

*The second last element is the second largest element.*

**Pass 3**

- (
**-5, 2**, -15, 13, 35) –> (**-5, 2**, -15, 13, 35) - (-5,
**2, -15**, 13, 35) –> (-5,**-15, 2**, 13, 35), Swap since 2 > -15

*The third last element is the third largest element.*

**Pass 4**

- (
**-5, -15**, 2, 13, 35) –> (**-15, -5**, 2, 13, 35) , Swap since -5 > -15

*Eventually, the first is the smallest & 2**nd** is the second smallest element in the array. **So, in this case, four passes were required to sort an array of 5 elements.*

Before looking at the algorithm in detail, let’s look at the time complexity of the Bubble Sort in C algorithm.

Now let us quickly look at the algorithm, so that moving ahead we can write the Bubble sort algorithm in C.

void bubbleSort(int array[], int n) { int i, j; //Pass in Bubble Sort for (i = 0; i < n-1; i++) /* Comparing the two adjacent elements & swapping if elements are not at the correct position */ for (j = 0; j < n-i-1; j++) if (array[j] > array[j+1]) swap(&array[j], &array[j+1]); }

#include <stdio.h> // Function to swap elements void swap(int *a, int *b) { int temp = *a; *a = *b; *b = temp; } // bubble sort function void bubbleSort(int array[], int n) { int i, j; for (i = 0; i < n-1; i++) for (j = 0; j < n-i-1; j++) if (array[j] > array[j+1]) swap(&array[j], &array[j+1]); } // Function to print the elements of an array void printArray(int array[], int size) { int i; for (i=0; i < size; i++) printf("%d ", array[i]); printf("n"); } // Main Function int main() { int array[] = {-5, 35, 2, 13, -15}; int size = sizeof(array)/sizeof(array[0]); bubbleSort(array, size); printf("Sorted array: n"); printArray(array, size); return 0; }

Now after executing the above C program you would have understood how Bubble Sort works & how to implement it in C language. I hope this blog is informative and added value to you.

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*Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this Bubble Sort in C article and we will get back to you as soon as possible.*

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