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Linear Search

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The Linear Search, or sequential search, is simply examining each element in a list one by one until the desired element is found. The Linear Search is not very efficient. If the item of data to be found is at the end of the list, then all previous items must be read and checked before the item that matches the search criteria is found.

Program for Searching an item in the list using Linear Search


C++ Source Code

#include <iostream.h>

int LinearSearch(int [], int, int);

int main()
const int NUMEL = 10;
int nums[NUMEL] = {5,10,22,32,45,67,73,98,99,101};
int item, location;

cout << "Enter the item you are searching for: ";
cin >> item;

location = LinearSearch(nums, NUMEL, item);

if (location > -1)
cout << "The item was found at index location " << location
<< endl;
cout << "The item was not found in the list\n";

return 0;

// this function returns the location of key in the list
// a -1 is returned if the value is not found
int LinearSearch(int list[], int size, int key)
int i;

for (i = 0; i < size; i++)
if (list[i] == key)
return i;

return -1;


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