Binary Search in Python
Implement a binary search algorithm.
1  exercism fetch python binarysearch

Binary Search
Implement a binary search algorithm.
Searching a sorted collection is a common task. A dictionary is a sorted list of word definitions. Given a word, one can find its definition. A telephone book is a sorted list of people's names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Knowing someone's name allows one to quickly find their telephone number and address.
If the list to be searched contains more than a few items (a dozen, say) a binary search will require far fewer comparisons than a linear search, but it imposes the requirement that the list be sorted.
In computer science, a binary search or halfinterval search algorithm finds the position of a specified input value (the search "key") within an array sorted by key value.
In each step, the algorithm compares the search key value with the key value of the middle element of the array.
If the keys match, then a matching element has been found and its index, or position, is returned.
Otherwise, if the search key is less than the middle element's key, then the algorithm repeats its action on the subarray to the left of the middle element or, if the search key is greater, on the subarray to the right.
If the remaining array to be searched is empty, then the key cannot be found in the array and a special "not found" indication is returned.
A binary search halves the number of items to check with each iteration, so locating an item (or determining its absence) takes logarithmic time. A binary search is a dichotomic divide and conquer search algorithm.
Exception messages
Sometimes it is necessary to raise an exception. When you do this, you should include a meaningful error message to indicate what the source of the error is. This makes your code more readable and helps significantly with debugging. Not every exercise will require you to raise an exception, but for those that do, the tests will only pass if you include a message.
To raise a message with an exception, just write it as an argument to the exception type. For example, instead of
raise Exception
, you should write:
1 
raise Exception("Meaningful message indicating the source of the error")

Running the tests
To run the tests, run the appropriate command below (why they are different):
 Python 2.7:
py.test binary_search_test.py
 Python 3.4+:
pytest binary_search_test.py
Alternatively, you can tell Python to run the pytest module (allowing the same command to be used regardless of Python version):
python m pytest binary_search_test.py
Common pytest
options

v
: enable verbose output 
x
: stop running tests on first failure 
ff
: run failures from previous test before running other test cases
For other options, see python m pytest h
Submitting Exercises
Note that, when trying to submit an exercise, make sure the solution is in the $EXERCISM_WORKSPACE/python/binarysearch
directory.
You can find your Exercism workspace by running exercism debug
and looking for the line that starts with Workspace
.
For more detailed information about running tests, code style and linting, please see the help page.
Source
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_search_algorithm
Submitting Incomplete Solutions
It's possible to submit an incomplete solution so you can see how others have completed the exercise.