Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Mayank Dham
In this blog, we will talk about binary search in data structure. Binary Search is one of the most curious topics of data structures as it decreases the time complexity for searching an element in the array from O(N) to O(logN). Not only this, we will also discuss the advantages, drawbacks, applications, and when to use binary search in data structure. Let’s walk slowly and discuss what is binary search in data structure and how to implement binary search in data structure in different languages.
Definition: Binary Search In C Language
Binary Search is a searching technique used in a sorted array by repeatedly dividing the search interval in half. Utilizing the knowledge that the array is sorted, the binary search focuses on decreasing the time complexity to O(LogN).
With this method, an array’s middle is always searched for the element.
Note: A sorted list of items is the only type of list on which a binary search can be used. We must first sort the elements if they are not already sorted.
Dry Run For Binary Search In C Language
There are two techniques to implement binary search algorithms, which are explained below.
 Iterative Method
 Recursive Method
The divide and conquer strategy is used in the recursive approach.
The general procedures for both approaches are covered here.
 The array that will be used for searching is as follows:
Let x = 4 serve as the search element.
 Place two pointers in the lowest and highest positions, respectively, at low and high.
 Determine the array’s middle element, arr[(low + high)/2], which equals 6.

Return mid if x == mid. Otherwise, compare the searchable element with m.

If x > mid, evaluate x against the middle element of the elements to its right. Setting low to low = mid + 1 achieves this.

Else, make a comparison of x with the element in the middle of the elements to the left of mid. Setting high to high = mid – 1 accomplishes this.
 Carry on in this manner until low and high are met.
 x = 4 is found.
Pseudocode for Binary Search Algorithm
Here, we will see the pseudocode for binary search in data structure in both iterative as well as recursive methods.
Iteration Method
do until the pointers low and high meet each other.
mid = (low + high)/2
if (x == arr[mid])
return mid
else if (x > arr[mid]) // x is on the right side
low = mid + 1
else // x is on the left side
high = mid  1
Recursive Method
binarySearch(arr, x, low, high)
if low > high
return False
else
mid = (low + high) / 2
if x == arr[mid]
return mid
else if x > arr[mid] // x is on the right side
return binarySearch(arr, x, mid + 1, high)
else // x is on the right side
return binarySearch(arr, x, low, mid  1)
Code Implementation of Iterative Method For Binary Search In C language
#include <stdio.h> int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { while (low <= high) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; if (array[mid] == x) return mid; if (array[mid] < x) low = mid + 1; else high = mid  1; } return 1; } int main(void) { int array[] = {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}; int n = sizeof(array) / sizeof(array[0]); int x = 4; int result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) printf("Not found"); else printf("Element is found at index %d", result); return 0; }
#include <iostream> using namespace std; int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { while (low <= high) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; if (array[mid] == x) return mid; if (array[mid] < x) low = mid + 1; else high = mid  1; } return 1; } int main(void) { int array[] = {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}; int x = 4; int n = sizeof(array) / sizeof(array[0]); int result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) printf("Not found"); else printf("Element is found at index %d", result); }
class BinarySearch { int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { while (low <= high) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; if (array[mid] == x) return mid; if (array[mid] < x) low = mid + 1; else high = mid  1; } return 1; } public static void main(String args[]) { BinarySearch ob = new BinarySearch(); int array[] = { 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 }; int n = array.length; int x = 4; int result = ob.binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) System.out.println("Not found"); else System.out.println("Element found at index " + result); } }
def binarySearch(array, x, low, high): while low <= high: mid = low + (high  low)//2 if array[mid] == x: return mid elif array[mid] < x: low = mid + 1 else: high = mid  1 return 1 array = [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] x = 4 result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, len(array)1) if result != 1: print("Element is present at index " + str(result)) else: print("Not found")
Code Implementation of Recursive Method For Binary Search In C langauge
#include <stdio.h> int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { if (high >= low) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; // If found at mid, then return it if (array[mid] == x) return mid; // Search the left half if (array[mid] > x) return binarySearch(array, x, low, mid  1); // Search the right half return binarySearch(array, x, mid + 1, high); } return 1; } int main(void) { int array[] = {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}; int n = sizeof(array) / sizeof(array[0]); int x = 4; int result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) printf("Not found"); else printf("Element is found at index %d", result); }
#include <iostream> using namespace std; int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { if (high >= low) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; // If found at mid, then return it if (array[mid] == x) return mid; // Search the left half if (array[mid] > x) return binarySearch(array, x, low, mid  1); // Search the right half return binarySearch(array, x, mid + 1, high); } return 1; } int main(void) { int array[] = {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}; int x = 4; int n = sizeof(array) / sizeof(array[0]); int result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) printf("Not found"); else printf("Element is found at index %d", result); }
class BinarySearch { int binarySearch(int array[], int x, int low, int high) { if (high >= low) { int mid = low + (high  low) / 2; // If found at mid, then return it if (array[mid] == x) return mid; // Search the left half if (array[mid] > x) return binarySearch(array, x, low, mid  1); // Search the right half return binarySearch(array, x, mid + 1, high); } return 1; } public static void main(String args[]) { BinarySearch ob = new BinarySearch(); int array[] = { 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 }; int n = array.length; int x = 4; int result = ob.binarySearch(array, x, 0, n  1); if (result == 1) System.out.println("Not found"); else System.out.println("Element found at index " + result); } }
def binarySearch(array, x, low, high): if high >= low: mid = low + (high  low)//2 # If found at mid, then return it if array[mid] == x: return mid # Search the left half elif array[mid] > x: return binarySearch(array, x, low, mid1) # Search the right half else: return binarySearch(array, x, mid + 1, high) else: return 1 array = [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] x = 4 result = binarySearch(array, x, 0, len(array)1) if result != 1: print("Element is present at index " + str(result)) else: print("Not found")
Binary Search in C language Complexity
Let’s discuss the time and space complexity for binary search in data structure.
Time Complexities of Binary search in C language
 Best case complexity: O(1)
 Average case complexity: O(log n)
 Worst case complexity: O(log n)
Space Complexity of Binary Search in C language
The space complexity of the binary search is O(1).
Advantages of Binary Search In C language:
 Particularly for big arrays, binary search is quicker than linear search. The time it takes to complete a linear search grows linearly while the time it takes to complete a binary search grows logarithmically as the size of the array grows.
 In comparison to other search algorithms with a comparable time complexity, such interpolation search or exponential search, binary search is more effective.
 A binary search is a suitable option for many applications because it is practical and straightforward to understand.
 A binary search is a versatile approach since it can be applied to both sorted arrays and sorted linked lists.
 Large datasets kept in external memory, such as a hard drive or the cloud, are best searched via binary search.
 For more complex algorithms, such as those used in computer graphics and machine learning, binary search can be utilized as a building block.
Drawbacks of Binary Search In C Language:
 The array must be sorted for us. Before running the search, we must first sort the array if it is not already sorted. The sorting step now has an additional O(N logN) time complexity, which can reduce the efficiency of binary search for very tiny arrays.
 The array being searched must be kept in a set of contiguous memory locations in order to use binary search. If the array is too big to fit in memory or is saved on external memory, such a hard drive or the cloud, this could be an issue.
 The array’s items must be similar, which means they must be able to be sorted, in order for binary search to work. If the array’s elements are not naturally arranged or the ordering is unclear, this could be an issue.
 When it comes to exploring really huge datasets that don’t fit in memory, binary search can be less effective than other techniques like hash tables.
Applications of Binary Search In C Language:
 Binary search can be used as a building block for more complicated machine learning algorithms, such as those that train neural networks or identify the best hyperparameters for a model.
 Used frequently in competitive programming.
 Can be applied to computer graphics searches. The simpler binary search strategy can be used as a building element for more sophisticated computer graphics algorithms like ray tracing or texture mapping.
 Can be applied to database searches. A client database or a catalog of products are two examples of databases containing records that may be efficiently searched using binary search.
When to use Binary Search In C language:
 With a time complexity of O(log n), it is substantially faster than linear search when searching a huge dataset.
 When the dataset has been sorted.
 When memory is contiguous and data is stored there.
 Data does not have complex relationships or structures.