A rather simple but efficient searching algorithm is called binary search. The elements must be in ascending or descending order.

Algorithm: Binary search

left <--- 0

right <--- element_amount - 1

WHILE left <= right

middle <--- ( left + right )/2

IF elements[ middle ].key == searched_key THEN

item found at location middle

ELSE IF elements[ middle ].key < searched_key THEN

left <--- middle + 1

ELSE

right <--- middle - 1

item not in the array

How does the binary search work with an integer key:

The search key is 4, there are 10 elements with the key 0-10 in the array

Fig: Binary search mechanism

Note that Binary Search can be used to work with other types than string by changing some points in the code to match the type. string must be changed to match the type of the searched data. The comparisons in the algorithms need to compare the wanted type.

Reference: allexperts, onesmartclick, informit

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