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Wikipedia Description

Shellsort, also known as Shell sort or Shell's method, is an in-place comparison sort. It can be seen as either a generalization of sorting by exchange (bubble sort) or sorting by insertion (insertion sort). The method starts by sorting pairs of elements far apart from each other, then progressively reducing the gap between elements to be compared. Starting with far apart elements can move some out-of-place elements into position faster than a simple nearest neighbor exchange. Donald Shell published the first version of this sort in 1959. The running time of Shellsort is heavily dependent on the gap sequence it uses. For many practical variants, determining their time complexity remains an open problem.Shellsort is a generalization of insertion sort that allows the exchange of items that are far apart. The idea is to arrange the list of elements so that, starting anywhere, considering every hth element gives a sorted list. Such a list is said to be h-sorted. Equivalently, it can be thought of as h interleaved lists, each individually sorted. Beginning with large values of h, this rearrangement allows elements to move long distances in the original list, reducing large amounts of disorder quickly, and leaving less work for smaller h-sort steps to do. If the file is then k-sorted for some smaller integer k, then the file remains h-sorted. Following this idea for a decreasing sequence of h values ending in 1 is guaranteed to leave a sorted list in the end.

insertion sort, sorting