for i = 2:n, for (k = i; k > 1 and a[k] < a[k-1]; k--) swap a[k,k-1] → invariant: a[1..i] is sorted end
Although it is one of the elementary sorting algorithms with O(n2) worst-case time, insertion sort is the algorithm of choice either when the data is nearly sorted (because it is adaptive) or when the problem size is small (because it has low overhead).
For these reasons, and because it is also stable, insertion sort is often used as the recursive base case (when the problem size is small) for higher overhead divide-and-conquer sorting algorithms, such as merge sort or quick sort.
Bubble-sort with Hungarian ("Csángó") folk dance YouTube video, created at Sapientia University, Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely), Romania.
Select-sort with Gypsy folk dance YouTube video, created at Sapientia University, Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely), Romania.
Sorting Out Sorting, Ronald M. Baecker with the assistance of David Sherman, 30 minute color sound film, Dynamic Graphics Project, University of Toronto, 1981. Excerpted and reprinted in SIGGRAPH Video Review 7, 1983. Distributed by Morgan Kaufmann, Publishers. Excerpt.