Linear Search vs Binary Search


A linear search scans one item at a time, without jumping to any item .

  1. The worst case complexity is  O(n), sometimes known an O(n) search
  2. Time taken to search elements keep increasing as the number of elements are increased.

A binary search however, cut down your search to half as soon as you find middle of a sorted list.

  1. The middle element is looked to check if it is greater than or less than the value to be searched.
  2. Accordingly, search is done to either half of the given list

Important Differences

  • Input data needs to be sorted in Binary Search and not in Linear Search
  • Linear search does the sequential access whereas Binary search access data randomly.
  • Time complexity of linear search -O(n) , Binary search has time complexity O(log n).
  •  Linear search performs equality comparisons and Binary search performs ordering comparisons

Let us look at an example to compare the two:

Linear Search to find the element “J” in a given sorted list from A-X


Binary Search to find the element “J” in a given sorted list from A-X



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