Algorithm Insertion Sort Linked List Searching and Sorting

Insertion Sort for Singly Linked List

Insertion Sort for Singly Linked List - Searching and sorting - We have discussed Insertion Sort for arrays.In this article linked list is also discussed.

We have discussed Insertion Sort for arrays.  In this article we discuss about linked list.

Singly Linked List:

Singly Linked List is a collection of ordered set of elements. A Node in singly linked list has two parts – data part and link part. Data part of the node contains the actual information which is represented as node. Link part of the node contains address of next node linked to it.

It can be traversed in only one direction because the node stores only next pointer. So, it can’t reverse linked list.

insertion sort for singly linked list

Algorithm for Insertion Sort for Singly Linked List :

  •  Create an empty sorted (or result) list
  •  Traverse the given list, do following for every node.
  •  Insert current node in sorted way in sorted or result list.
  •  Change head of given linked list to head of sorted (or result) list.

Insertion Sort for Singly Linked List:

In C language, program is given below:

/* C program for insertion sort on a linked list */
/* Link list node */
struct node
    int data;
    struct node* next;
// Function to insert a given node in a sorted linked list
void sortedInsert(struct node**, struct node*);
// function to sort a singly linked list using insertion sort
void insertionSort(struct node **head_ref)
    // Initialize sorted linked list
    struct node *sorted = NULL;
    // Traverse the given linked list and insert every
    // node to sorted
    struct node *current = *head_ref;
    while (current != NULL)
        // Store next for next iteration
        struct node *next = current->next;
        // insert current in sorted linked list
        sortedInsert(&sorted, current);
        // Update current
        current = next;
    // Update head_ref to point to sorted linked list
    *head_ref = sorted;
/* function to insert a new_node in a list. Note that this
  function expects a pointer to head_ref as this can modify the
  head of the input linked list (similar to push())*/
void sortedInsert(struct node** head_ref, struct node* new_node)
    struct node* current;
    /* Special case for the head end */
    if (*head_ref == NULL || (*head_ref)->data >= new_node->data)
        new_node->next = *head_ref;
        *head_ref = new_node;
        /* Locate the node before the point of insertion */
        current = *head_ref;
        while (current->next!=NULL &&
               current->next->data < new_node->data)
            current = current->next;
        new_node->next = current->next;
        current->next = new_node;
/* Function to print linked list */
void printList(struct node *head)
    struct node *temp = head;
    while(temp != NULL)
        printf("%d  ", temp->data);
        temp = temp->next;
/* A utility function to insert a node at the beginning of linked list */
void push(struct node** head_ref, int new_data)
    /* allocate node */
    struct node* new_node = new node;
    /* put in the data  */
    new_node->data  = new_data;
    /* link the old list off the new node */
    new_node->next = (*head_ref);
    /* move the head to point to the new node */
    (*head_ref)    = new_node;
// Driver program to test above functions
int main()
    struct node *a = NULL;
    push(&a, 5);
    push(&a, 20);
    push(&a, 4);
    push(&a, 3);
    push(&a, 30);
    printf("Linked List before sorting \n");
    printf("\nLinked List after sorting \n");
    return 0;


Linked List before sorting
30  3  4  20  5
Linked List after sorting
3  4  5  20  30
See also  C program to merge two arrays

About the author

Venkatesan Prabu

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.

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