What is Bucket Sort and How this Algorithm Work?

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bucket sort

What is Bucket Sort?

Bucket Sort Definition

Bucket sorting is a strategy for sorting materials into buckets. Individual buckets or multiple buckets distribute the components in a range into distinct buckets. It’s also known as bin sort and a comparison method.

Bucket sort is a fundamental sorting algorithm that distributes the elements into groups or buckets. 

First, the elements in the dataset are broken down into buckets and then sorted into ascending or descending order. Then the buckets are combined to give a fully sorted dataset.

You could also use the initial algorithm recursively for sorting the buckets to reduce the number of lines of code. It makes bucket sort much more flexible and versatile than other sorting algorithms.

Why should you use Bucket sort?

Bucket sorting is important for two reasons.

First, the speed of Bucket Sort is much faster than other sorting algorithms. 

The process of first placing the elements into buckets and then sorting them takes less time when compared to linear sort or bubble sort. The bucket sort, however, uses more memory than the linear sort.

Second, bucket sort is a handy tool for assigning priorities or managing a dataset. Such as organizing a to-do list, setting priorities, or any other task that could require sorting.

How does a bucket sort algorithm work?

The Scatter-Gather-Approach is used to sort the array in bucket sort. Buckets get used to partition the unsorted array into different groups. Sort the buckets individually, then combine them to make the final sorted array.

If the array’s values are floats between 0 and 1, we first create ten buckets, numbered 0 to 9. And then place elements in these buckets based on their most significant number. (int) (element number * 10) is the bucket index formula.

Suppose the array’s elements are integers, as illustrated in the diagram. In that case, We can calculate the range: range = (maximum number – minimum number) / no of buckets divides the entire range into buckets. After that, they get sorted.

Following is an example of the bucket sort algorithm:

0.42, 0.32, 0.23, 0.52, 0.25, 0.47, 0.51 are the elements of the input array.

For sorting, a ten-dimensional array gets constructed. 

Each bucket spans 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and (n-1) to n. You consider 23. Size = 10 is multiplied (i.e..23*10=2.3). 

The number then transforms to an integer (2.32). Finally,.23 goes into bucket-2. Other elements also get added in the same way.

You can use sorting algorithms like quicksort to sort the components of each bucket individually. After then, the contents of the buckets can gather.

When is bucket sort used?

Typically, bucket sort gets employed in one of two contexts.

The first is to make the sorting process go faster. A linear sort, such as the bubble sort, takes substantially longer than separating objects into bins and sorting them in smaller amounts. 

On the other hand, bucket sort consumes more memory than linear algorithms.

The second application of bucket sort is for prioritizing or organizing less organized datasets. 

Bucket sort, for example, can get used to arranging a to-do list, assigning priority, or sorting items by the amount of time they will require.

How do you implement a bucket sort?

Bucket sort is a sorting method based on comparisons that divide an array into several buckets, sorting each bucket separately using a different sorting algorithm. Or recursively using the bucket sort algorithm. 

This algorithm is most useful when the input gets uniformly distributed throughout a range.


  • Make an empty n-dimensional array (n empty buckets).
  • Each array element is placed in a “bucket” when you loop around the original array.
  • Using insertion sort, sort each of the non-empty buckets.
  • Return all elements to the original array by visiting the buckets in succession.

The steps involved in generating development buckets divides into three categories. The following is a step-by-step example of a bucket sort:

Step 1: Determine the types of development:

We classify development items according to what delivers the most customer satisfaction, resulting in a competitive advantage.

Step 2: Establishing a development timeline:

In this stage, you assign the amount of time you’ll spend on each category you identified in the previous phase. Impactful things receive more development time. 

It is an essential step in the scale-up process because it allows the product team to prioritize and allocate resources. It helps product managers to choose the right product roadmap tools along the way.

Read: How To Create a Product Development Timeline

Step 3: Prioritize the items inside each category:

The previous process system gathered specific things and sorted them using the bucket method.

Finally, the final phase provides those issues that need to be addressed and evaluated in terms of opportunity. It can assist in the creation of a strategic planning roadmap.


How is Bucket Sort different from Bubble Sort?

In bucket sort, items get segregated into groups or buckets, sorted separately, and later combined to result in a wholly sorted dataset. Bubble sort is a linear sorting algorithm. Wherein items get compared to their neighboring items and subsequently swapped with each other. Based on whether we want an ascending or descending dataset.

What are the advantages of bucket sort?

Each bucket can be processed independently using bucket sort. As a result, after sorting the primary array, you’ll frequently need to sort much smaller arrays as a subsequent step. You can also use it as a sorting algorithm on its own.

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