Browse Definitions :
Definition

binary search (dichotomizing search)

A binary search, also called a dichotomizing search, is a digital scheme for locating a specific object in a large set. Each object in the set is given a key. The number of keys is always a power of 2. If there are 32 items in a list, for example, they might be numbered 0 through 31 (binary 00000 through 11111). If there are, say, only 29 items, they can be numbered 0 through 28 (binary 00000 through 11100), with the numbers 29 through31 (binary 11101, 11110, and 11111) as dummy keys.

To conduct the search, the keys are listed in tabular form. The position of the desired object is compared with the halfway point in the list (which lies between the two keys in the center of the list). If the key of the desired object is smaller than the halfway point value, then the first half of the list is accepted and the second half is rejected. If the key of the desired object is larger than the halfway point value, then the second half of the list is accepted and the first half is rejected. The process is repeated, each time selecting half of the list and rejecting the other half, until only one object remains. This is the desired object.

The following list shows an example of a binary search to choose the fifth object in a set of 13 objects. Keys are denoted X; the desired key is denoted by +. Dummy keys are denoted O.

XXXX+XXXXXXXXOOO (initial list)
XXXX+XXX (first half accepted)
+XXX (second half accepted)
+X (first half accepted)
+ (first half accepted)
This was last updated in March 2011
SearchNetworking
  • network packet

    A network packet is a basic unit of data that's grouped together and transferred over a computer network, typically a ...

  • virtual network functions (VNFs)

    Virtual network functions (VNFs) are virtualized tasks formerly carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware.

  • network functions virtualization (NFV)

    Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a network architecture model designed to virtualize network services that have ...

SearchSecurity
  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology invented in the 1950s that's used to verify the legitimacy or ...

  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Android System WebView

    Android System WebView is a system component for the Android operating system (OS) that allows Android apps to display web ...

SearchCIO
  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • product development (new product development -- NPD)

    Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

SearchHRSoftware
  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

  • hybrid work model

    A hybrid work model is a workforce structure that includes employees who work remotely and those who work on site, in a company's...

SearchCustomerExperience
  • Salesforce Trailhead

    Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to ...

  • Salesforce

    Salesforce, Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco.

  • data clean room

    A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with ...

Close