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

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document.

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

  • data storage

    In a computer, storage is the place where data is held in an electromagnetic or optical form for access by a computer processor.

  • flash storage

    Flash-based storage, based on flash memory, is used for data repositories, storage systems and consumer devices, such as USB ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close