Selection Sort

This might not be the most efficient implementation of the selection sort algorithm. However, it is the one that closely matches how the algorithm is explained:

1. Pick up the first card (if this was a deck of cards).
2. Compare the card in your hand to each other card in turn
3. If a smaller card is found, swap the cards (so the smaller card is now in your hand).
4. When you get to the last card, put the card in your hand into a separate pile.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until there are no more cards in the original deck

Create A Sequence

alist = [8,5,3,6,2,1,9,4,7]
alist
[8, 5, 3, 6, 2, 1, 9, 4, 7]


Create A Selection Sort Algorithm

# Define a function that takes an unsorted list,
def selection_sort(alist):

# Create a new list containing the values from the inputed list
unsorted_sequence = alist[:]

# Create a list where we will place the sorted values
sorted_sequence = []

# While there are still values in the unsorted sequence:
while len(unsorted_sequence) > 0:
# For each value in the unsorted sequence,
for i, _ in enumerate(unsorted_sequence):

# Assume it is the smallest value
smallest_value_index = i

# Compare it which each other value in the unsorted list
for i, _ in enumerate(unsorted_sequence):

# If a smaller value is found
if unsorted_sequence[smallest_value_index] > unsorted_sequence[i]:

# Swap the two values so the new value is the one we think is the smallest
smallest_value_index, i = i, smallest_value_index

# When we get to the end of the sequence, remove the smallest valued card
smallest_value = unsorted_sequence.pop(smallest_value_index)

# And add it to our sequence of sorted values
sorted_sequence.append(smallest_value)

# Print the sorted sequence
print('Sorted sequence so far:', sorted_sequence)
# Run the selection sort
selection_sort(alist)
Sorted sequence so far: [1]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]
Sorted sequence so far: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]