< cpp‎ | algorithm
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Defined in header <cstdlib>
void* bsearch( const void* key, const void* ptr, std::size_t count, std::size_t size,
               int (*comp)(const void*, const void*) );

Finds an element equal to element pointed to by key in a sorted array pointed to by ptr. The array contains count elements of size bytes. The elements are compared using function pointed to by comp.

The behavior is undefined if the array is not already sorted in ascending order according to the same criteria that comp uses.

If the array contains several elements that comp would indicate as equal to the element searched for, then it is undefined which element the function will return as the result.


[edit] Parameters

key - pointer to the element to search for
ptr - pointer to the array to examine
count - number of element in the array
size - size of each element in the array in bytes
comp - comparison function which returns ​a negative integer value if the first argument is less than the second,

a positive integer value if the first argument is greater than the second and zero if the arguments are equal. key is passed as the first argument, an element from the array as the second.
The signature of the comparison function should be equivalent to the following:

 int cmp(const void *a, const void *b);

The function must not modify the objects passed to it.

[edit] Return value

Pointer to the found element or NULL if the element has not been found.

[edit] Example

#include <cstdlib>
#include <iostream>
int compare(const void *ap, const void *bp)
    const int *a = (int *) ap;
    const int *b = (int *) bp;
    if(*a < *b)
        return -1;
    else if(*a > *b)
        return 1;
        return 0;
int main(int argc, char **argv)
    const int ARR_SIZE = 8;
    int arr[ARR_SIZE] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 };
    int key1 = 4;
    int *p1 = (int *) std::bsearch(&key1, arr, ARR_SIZE, sizeof(arr[0]), compare);
        std::cout << "value " << key1 << " found at position " << (p1 - arr) << '\n';
        std::cout << "value " << key1 << " not found\n";
    int key2 = 9;
    int *p2 = (int *) std::bsearch(&key2, arr, ARR_SIZE, sizeof(arr[0]), compare);
        std::cout << "value " << key2 << " found at position " << (p2 - arr) << '\n';
        std::cout << "value " << key2 << " not found\n";


value 4 found at position 3
value 9 not found

[edit] See also

sorts a range of elements with unspecified type
(function) [edit]
returns range of elements matching a specific key
(function template) [edit]
C documentation for bsearch