searching in data structure

Searching In Data Structure

Hello Friends, In this blog post I am going to let you know about the searching process in the data structure. Here searching is meant for finding a particular record in the file, table, list or database.

In other words, searching is the process of finding the desired record in a search table. The search may be internal or external. A table or a file is a collection of records, each record having one or more fields.

The fields which are used to distinguish among the records are known as keys. While searching, we are asked to find a record that contains other information associated with the key.

For example, given a name we are asked to find a telephone number or given an account number, we are asked to find the balance in that account.

A key may be contained within the record, as discussed in the example of the telephone directory, at a specific offset from the start of the record. Such a key is called an internal key or an embedded key.

There may be a separate table of keys that includes pointers to find records. Such keys are called external keys. If there are many records, then it will be necessary to store the records on secondary storage.

This kind of searching where most of the table is kept in secondary storage is called external searching. Whereas searching where the table to be searched is stored entirely in the main memory is called internal searching.

There are two searching techniques – linear search and binary search. The linear search is the simplest of all search techniques that search through the entire table.

The binary search is an efficient method that divides the table one-half and searches in each half. If the key is matched with the middle element, then the search will terminate.

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