Data Structures

Sorted Insert in a Linked List

Let input linked list is sorted in increasing order.

  1. If Linked list is empty then make the node as head and return it.

  2. If value of the node to be inserted is smaller than value of head node

    then insert the node at start and make it head.

  3. In a loop, find the appropriate node after which the input node (let 9) is

    to be inserted. To find the appropriate node start from head, keep moving

    until you reach a node GN (10 in the below diagram) who's value is

    greater than the input node. The node just before GN is the appropriate

    node (7).

  4. Insert the node (9) after the appropriate node (7) found in step 3.

Initial Linked List

Linked List after insertion of 9


/* Program to insert in a sorted list */

/* Link list node */
struct node
    int data;
    struct node* next;

/* 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;


/* A utility function to create a new node */
struct node *newNode(int new_data)
    /* allocate node */
    struct node* new_node =
        (struct node*) malloc(sizeof(struct node));

    /* put in the data  */
    new_node->data  = new_data;
    new_node->next =  NULL;

    return 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;

/* Drier program to test count function*/
int main()
    /* Start with the empty list */
    struct node* head = NULL;
    struct node *new_node = newNode(5);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    new_node = newNode(10);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    new_node = newNode(7);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    new_node = newNode(3);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    new_node = newNode(1);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    new_node = newNode(9);
    sortedInsert(&head, new_node);
    printf("\nCreated Linked List\n");

    return 0;

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