#### Overview of this book

Choosing the right data structure is pivotal to optimizing the performance and scalability of applications. This new edition of Hands-On Data Structures and Algorithms with Python will expand your understanding of key structures, including stacks, queues, and lists, and also show you how to apply priority queues and heaps in applications. You’ll learn how to analyze and compare Python algorithms, and understand which algorithms should be used for a problem based on running time and computational complexity. You will also become confident organizing your code in a manageable, consistent, and scalable way, which will boost your productivity as a Python developer. By the end of this Python book, you’ll be able to manipulate the most important data structures and algorithms to more efficiently store, organize, and access data in your applications.
Preface
Free Chapter
Python Data Types and Structures
Introduction to Algorithm Design
Algorithm Design Techniques and Strategies
Stacks and Queues
Trees
Heaps and Priority Queues
Hash Tables
Graphs and Algorithms
Searching
Sorting
Selection Algorithms
String Matching Algorithms
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Index

# Binary search

The binary search algorithm finds a given item from the given sorted list of items. It is a fast and efficient algorithm to search for an element; however, one drawback of this algorithm is that we need a sorted list. The worst-case running time complexity of a binary search algorithm is `O(logn)` whereas for linear search it is `O(n)`.

The binary search algorithm works as follows. It starts searching for the item by dividing the given list in half. If the search item is smaller than the middle value then it will look for the searched item only in the first half of the list, and if the search item is greater than the middle value it will only look at the second half of the list. We repeat the same process every time until we find the search item, or we have checked the whole list. In the case of a non-numeric list of data items, for example, if we have string data items, then we should sort the data items in alphabetical order (similar to how a contact list is stored...