# Binary Search in Array

algorithmarraysbinary-searchlanguage-agnosticsearch

How would I implement a binary search using just an array?

#### Best Answer

Ensure that your array is sorted since this is the crux of a binary search.

Any indexed/random-access data structure can be binary searched. So when you say using "just an array", I would say arrays are the most basic/common data structure that a binary search is employed on.

You can do it recursively (easiest) or iteratively. Time complexity of a binary search is O(log N) which is considerably faster than a linear search of checking each element at O(N). Here are some examples from Wikipedia: Binary Search Algorithm:

Recursive:

``````BinarySearch(A[0..N-1], value, low, high) {
if (high < low)
return -1 // not found
mid = low + ((high - low) / 2)
if (A[mid] > value)
return BinarySearch(A, value, low, mid-1)
else if (A[mid] < value)
return BinarySearch(A, value, mid+1, high)
else
return mid // found
}
``````

Iterative:

``````  BinarySearch(A[0..N-1], value) {
low = 0
high = N - 1
while (low <= high) {
mid = low + ((high - low) / 2)
if (A[mid] > value)
high = mid - 1
else if (A[mid] < value)
low = mid + 1
else
return mid // found
}
return -1 // not found
}
``````