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Searching for smallest or largest value using linear search

Linear search can be used to search for the smallest or largest value in an unsorted list rather than searching for a match. It can do so by keeping track of the largest (or smallest) value and updating as necessary as the algorithm iterates through the dataset.

Create a variable called max_value_index    
Set max_value_index to the index of the first element of the search list
  For each element in the search list
    if element is greater than the element at max_value_index
      Set max_value_index equal to the index of the element
return max_value_index
Linear Search: Conceptual
Lesson 1 of 4
  1. 1
    Imagine that you are a DJ at a party. The diagram on the right shows your playlist for the event. A party guest wants to know if “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars is a song on your playlist. You would …
  2. 2
    Linear search can be used to search for a desired value in a list. It achieves this by examining each of the elements and comparing it with the search element starting with the first element to the…
  3. 3
    Linear search is not considered the most efficient search algorithm, especially for lists of large magnitudes. However, linear search is a great choice if you expect to find the target value at the…
  4. 4
    There are two worst cases for linear search. Case 1: when the target value at the end of the list.
  5. 5
    If this search was used 1000 times on 1000 different lists, some of them would be the best case, some the worst. For most searches, it would be somewhere in between. On average it would be in the…
  6. 6
    Linear search runs in linear time. Its efficiency can be expressed as a linear function, with the number of comparisons to find a target increasing linearly as the size of the list, N, increases. …
  7. 7
    Congratulations! You have learned how linear search works and how to use it to search for values in lists. Let’s review what we learned: * Linear search is a search algorithm that sequentia…

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