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Sorting Terminology
  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2019

What is in-place sorting?
An in-place sorting algorithm uses constant extra space for producing the output (modifies the given array only). It sorts the list only by modifying the order of the elements within the list.
For example, Insertion Sort and Selection Sorts are in-place sorting algorithms as they do not use any additional space for sorting the list and a typical implementation of Merge Sort is not in-place, also the implementation for counting sort is not in-place sorting algorithm.

What are Internal and External Sortings?
When all data that needs to be sorted cannot be placed in-memory at a time, the sorting is called external sorting. External Sorting is used for massive amount of data. Merge Sort and its variations are typically used for external sorting. Some external storage like hard-disk, CD, etc is used for external storage.
When all data is placed in-memory, then sorting is called internal sorting.

What is stable sorting?
See Stable Sorting Algorithms

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