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exercism fetch ruby binary-search

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 half-interval 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 sub-array to the left of the middle element or, if the search key is greater, on the sub-array 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.


For installation and learning resources, refer to the exercism help page.

For running the tests provided, you will need the Minitest gem. Open a terminal window and run the following command to install minitest:

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gem install minitest

If you would like color output, you can require 'minitest/pride' in the test file, or note the alternative instruction, below, for running the test file.

In order to run the test, you can run the test file from the exercise directory. For example, if the test suite is called hello_world_test.rb, you can run the following command:

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ruby hello_world_test.rb

To include color from the command line:

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ruby -r minitest/pride hello_world_test.rb

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.