Headline

The problem of determining whether a given value occurs in a given list

Description

The search problem is an algorithmic problem as follows:

  • Input:
    • A list l of values
    • A value v
  • Output:
    • True: v occurs in l.
    • False: otherwise.
This is an algorithmic problem because one can obviously define an algorithm to iterate over the elements of l and to check for an occurrence of v along the way. This simple idea is the foundation for linear search. When additional constraints are imposed on the input, then search may also be more efficient; see binary search for example.

Illustration

See linear and binary search.

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