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What is Binary Search in Java? How to Implement it?

Published on Aug 14,2019 15.3K Views
A tech enthusiast in Java, Image Processing, Cloud Computing, Hadoop. A tech enthusiast in Java, Image Processing, Cloud Computing, Hadoop.
12 / 29 Blog from Java Programs

Searching and Sorting algorithms are the popular algorithms in any programming languages. They are the basis to understand the fundamentals of the programming. One such popular searching algorithm is Binary Search in Java. In this article, I will tell you all about its implementation.

Below topics are covered in this article:

Let’s get started!

What is Binary Search?

Binary Search in Java is a search algorithm that finds the position of a target value within a sorted array. Binary search compares the target value to the middle element of the array. It works only on a sorted set of elements. To use binary search on a collection, the collection must first be sorted.

Binary Search Program in Java - Binary Search in Java - EdurekaWhen the binary search is used to perform operations on a sorted set, the number of iterations can always be reduced on the basis of the value that is being searched. You can see in the above snapshot of finding the mid element. The analogy of binary search is to use the information that the array is sorted and reduce the time complexity to O(log n).

Implementing Binary Search Algorithm

Let’s take a look at the below pseudo code to understand it in a better way.

Procedure binary_search
A ← sorted array
n ← size of array
x ← value to be searched

Set low = 1
Set high = n

while x not found
if high < low
EXIT: x does not exist.

set mid = low + ( high - low ) / 2

if A[mid] < x set low = mid + 1 if A[mid]> x
set high = mid - 1

if A[mid] = x
EXIT: x found at location mid
end while

end procedure


Step 1: First, compare x with the middle element.

Step 2: If x matches with the middle element, then you have to return the mid index.

Step 3: Else, If x is greater than the mid element, then x can only lie in the right side half array after the mid element. Hence you recur the right half.

Step 4: Else, if (x is smaller) then recur for the left half.

That’s how you need to search for the element in the given array.

Let’s now see how to implement a binary search algorithm recursively. Below program demonstrates the same.

Recursive Binary Search

public class BinarySearch {
// Java implementation of recursive Binary Search
// Returns index of x if it is present in arr[l..h], else return -1
int binarySearch(int a[], int l, int h, int x)
if (h >= l) {
int mid = l + (h - l) / 2;
// If the element is present at the middle itself
if (a[mid] == x)
return mid;
// If element is smaller than mid, then it can only be present in left subarray
if (a[mid] >x)
return binarySearch(arr, l, mid - 1, x);
// Else the element can only be present in right subarray
return binarySearch(arr, mid + 1, h, x);
// We reach here when element is not present in array
return -1;
public static void main(String args[])
BinarySearch ob = new BinarySearch();
int a[] = { 20, 30, 40, 10, 50 };
int n = a.length;
int x = 40;
int res = ob.binarySearch(a, 0, n - 1, x);
if (res == -1)
System.out.println("Element not present");
System.out.println("Element found at index " + res);

On executing the above program, it will locate the element present at the particular index

Element found at index 2

So this brings us to the end of the Binary Search in Java article. I hope you found it informative and helped you in understanding Java Fundamentals.

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In case you face any difficulty while implementing Binary Search in Java, please mention it in the comments section below and we will get back to you at the earliest.


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