BSEARCH(3C) Standard C Library Functions BSEARCH(3C)

NAME


bsearch - binary search a sorted table

SYNOPSIS


#include <stdlib.h>

void *bsearch(const void *key, const void *base, size_t nel, size_t size,
int (*compar)(const void *,const void *));


DESCRIPTION


The bsearch() function is a binary search routine generalized from Knuth
(6.2.1) Algorithm B. It returns a pointer into a table (an array)
indicating where a datum may be found or a null pointer if the datum
cannot be found. The table must be previously sorted in increasing order
according to a comparison function pointed to by compar.


The key argument points to a datum instance to be sought in the table.
The base argument points to the element at the base of the table. The
nel argument is the number of elements in the table. The size argument
is the number of bytes in each element.


The comparison function pointed to by compar is called with two arguments
that point to the key object and to an array element, in that order. The
function must return an integer less than, equal to, or greater than 0 if
the key object is considered, respectively, to be less than, equal to, or
greater than the array element.

RETURN VALUES


The bsearch() function returns a pointer to a matching member of the
array, or a null pointer if no match is found. If two or more members
compare equal, which member is returned is unspecified.

USAGE


The pointers to the key and the element at the base of the table should
be of type pointer-to-element.


The comparison function need not compare every byte, so arbitrary data
may be contained in the elements in addition to the values being
compared.


If the number of elements in the table is less than the size reserved for
the table, nel should be the lower number.


The bsearch() function safely allows concurrent access by multiple
threads to disjoint data, such as overlapping subtrees or tables.

EXAMPLES


Example 1: Examples for searching a table containing pointers to nodes.




The example below searches a table containing pointers to nodes
consisting of a string and its length. The table is ordered
alphabetically on the string in the node pointed to by each entry.


This program reads in strings and either finds the corresponding node and
prints out the string and its length, or prints an error message.


#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
struct node { /* these are stored in the table */
char *string;
int length;
};
static struct node table[] = { /* table to be searched */
{ "asparagus", 10 },
{ "beans", 6 },
{ "tomato", 7 },
{ "watermelon", 11 },
};

main()
{
struct node *node_ptr, node;
/* routine to compare 2 nodes */
static int node_compare(const void *, const void *);
char str_space[20]; /* space to read string into */

node.string = str_space;
while (scanf("%20s", node.string) != EOF) {
node_ptr = bsearch( &node,
table, sizeof(table)/sizeof(struct node),
sizeof(struct node), node_compare);
if (node_ptr != NULL) {
(void) printf("string = %20s, length = %d\n",
node_ptr->string, node_ptr->length);
} else {
(void)printf("not found: %20s\n", node.string);
}
}
return(0);
}

/* routine to compare two nodes based on an */
/* alphabetical ordering of the string field */
static int
node_compare(const void *node1, const void *node2) {
return (strcmp(
((const struct node *)node1)->string,
((const struct node *)node2)->string));
}


ATTRIBUTES


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


+--------------------+-----------------+
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
+--------------------+-----------------+
|Interface Stability | Standard |
+--------------------+-----------------+
|MT-Level | MT-Safe |
+--------------------+-----------------+

SEE ALSO


hsearch(3C), lsearch(3C), qsort(3C), tsearch(3C), attributes(7),
standards(7)

illumos December 6, 2004 BSEARCH(3C)