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Linear Search: Conceptual
Review

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 sequentially checks whether a given value is an element of a specified list by scanning the elements of a list one-by-one until it finds the target value.

  • The time complexity for linear search is O(N), but its performance is dependent on its input:

    • Best Case: The algorithm requires only 1 comparison to find the target value in the first position of the list.
    • Worst Case: The algorithm requires only n comparison to find the target value in the last position of the list or does not exist in the list.
    • Average Case: The algorithm makes N/2 comparisons.
  • Linear search is a good choice for a search algorithm when:

    • You expect the target value to be positioned near the beginning of the list.

    • A search needs to be performed on an unsorted list because linear search traverses the entire list from beginning to end, regardless of its order.

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