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About Mary Zheng

Mary Zheng
Mary has graduated from Mechanical Engineering department at ShangHai JiaoTong University. She also holds a Master degree in Computer Science from Webster University. During her studies she has been involved with a large number of projects ranging from programming and software engineering. She works as a senior Software Engineer in the telecommunications sector where she acts as a leader and works with others to design, implement, and monitor the software solution.

Linear Search Java Example

1. Introduction

Linear search is a computer algorithm which finds an element from an array sequentially. The time complexity is O(n) in the worst case – meaning the element is the last element of the array or not in the array. The time complexity is O(1) in the best case – meaning the element is the first element of the array. It’s useful when the array is small or not ordered.

In this example, I will demonstrate the following with a Maven project.

  • How to code the linear search
  • How JDK ArrayList implements the linear search
  • When to use the linear search

2. Technologies Used

The example code in this article was built and run using:

  • Java 11
  • Maven 3.3.9
  • Eclipse Oxygen
  • Junit 4.12

3. Maven Project

3.1 Dependencies

I will include Junit in the pom.xml.

pom.xml

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<groupId>jcg.zheng.demo</groupId>
	<artifactId>java-linear-search-demo</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<build>
		<sourceDirectory>src</sourceDirectory>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
				<version>3.8.0</version>
				<configuration>
					<release>11</release>
				</configuration>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>
	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>junit</groupId>
			<artifactId>junit</artifactId>
			<version>4.12</version>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>
</project>

3.2 Demo POJO

I will create a DemoPOJO which has equals method.

DemoPOJO.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

public class DemoPOJO {

	private int id;

	private String name;

	public DemoPOJO(int id, String name) {
		super();
		this.name = name;
		this.id = id;
	}

	@Override
	public boolean equals(Object obj) {
		if (this == obj)
			return true;
		if (obj == null)
			return false;
		if (getClass() != obj.getClass())
			return false;
		DemoPOJO other = (DemoPOJO) obj;
		if (id != other.id)
			return false;
		if (name == null) {
			if (other.name != null)
				return false;
		} else if (!name.equals(other.name))
			return false;
		return true;
	}

	public int getId() {
		return id;
	}

	public String getName() {
		return name;
	}

	@Override
	public int hashCode() {
		final int prime = 31;
		int result = 1;
		result = prime * result + id;
		result = prime * result + ((name == null) ? 0 : name.hashCode());
		return result;
	}

	public void setId(int id) {
		this.id = id;
	}

	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;
	}

}

3.3 Linear Search

I will createLinearSearch which has two methods:

  • findItem – it checks item sequentially in a list via a for loop, returns the found object, else returns null.
  • findItemViaStream – it checks item sequentially in a list via a Stream, return the found object, else returns null.

LinearSearch.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

import java.util.List;

public class LinearSearch<T> {

	public T findItem(List<T> elements, T searchingItem) {
		for (T item : elements) {
			if (item.equals(searchingItem)) {
				return item;
			}
		}
		return null;
	}

	public T findItemViaStream(List<T> elements, T searchingItem) {
		return elements.stream().filter(customer -> searchingItem.equals(customer)).findAny().orElse(null);
	}
}

3.4 JDK ArrayList Index

I will show the ArrayList‘s implementation for the indexOf method which checks the item sequentially via a for loop.

ArrayList.indexOf.java

 @Override
        public int indexOf(Object o) {
            E[] a = this.a;
            if (o == null) {
                for (int i = 0; i < a.length; i++)
                    if (a[i] == null)
                        return i;
            } else {
                for (int i = 0; i < a.length; i++)
                    if (o.equals(a[i]))
                        return i;
            }
            return -1;
        }

3.5 Binary Search

I will create aBinarySearch which searches an item from an ordered array in a faster way. The time complexity is O(log n).

BinarySearch.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

public class BinarySearch {

	public int findItemIndex(int elements[], int left, int right, int searchItem) {
		if (right >= left) {
			int mid = left + (right - left) / 2;

			if (elements[mid] == searchItem)
				return mid;

			if (elements[mid] > searchItem)
				return findItemIndex(elements, left, mid - 1, searchItem);

			return findItemIndex(elements, mid + 1, right, searchItem);
		}

		return -1;
	}

}

4. JUnit Test

I will demonstrate the linear search and binary search with several Junit test classes.

4.1 Linear Search Integer

I will create LinearSearch_IntegerTest.

LinearSearch_IntegerTest.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

import static org.junit.Assert.assertEquals;
import static org.junit.Assert.assertNotNull;

import java.util.List;
import java.util.stream.Collectors;
import java.util.stream.IntStream;

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;

public class LinearSearch_IntegerTest {

	private List<Integer> elements;
	private LinearSearch<Integer> searchInt;

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_Integer() {
		Integer found = searchInt.findItem(elements, 20);
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertEquals(20, found.intValue());
	}

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_Stream_Integer() {
		Integer found = searchInt.findItemViaStream(elements, 20);
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertEquals(20, found.intValue());
	}

	@Before
	public void setup() {
		searchInt = new LinearSearch<>();
		elements = IntStream.iterate(10, x -> x + 10).limit(25).boxed().collect(Collectors.toList());
	}

}

4.2 Linear Search String

I will create LinearSearch_StringTest.

LinearSearch_StringTest.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

import static org.junit.Assert.assertEquals;
import static org.junit.Assert.assertNotNull;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;

public class LinearSearch_StringTest {

	private List<String> elements;
	 
	private LinearSearch<String> searchInt;

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_Stream_String() {
		String found = searchInt.findItemViaStream(elements, "Mary");
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertEquals("Mary", found);
	}

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_String() {
		String found = searchInt.findItem(elements, "Mary");
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertEquals("Mary", found);
	}

	@Before
	public void setup() {
		searchInt = new LinearSearch<>();
		elements = Arrays.asList("Hello", "Mary", "How", "Are", "You");
	}

}

4.3 Linear Search POJO

I will create LinearSearch_POJOTest.

LinearSearch_POJOTest.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

import static org.junit.Assert.assertNotNull;
import static org.junit.Assert.assertTrue;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;

public class LinearSearch_POJOTest {

	private List<DemoPOJO> elements;
	private LinearSearch<DemoPOJO> searchPojo;

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_POJO() {
		DemoPOJO found = searchPojo.findItem(elements, new DemoPOJO(1, "Mary"));
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertTrue(found.equals(new DemoPOJO(1, "Mary")));
	}

	@Test
	public void linearSearch_Stream_POJO() {
		DemoPOJO found = searchPojo.findItemViaStream(elements, new DemoPOJO(1, "Mary"));
		assertNotNull(found);
		assertTrue(found.equals(new DemoPOJO(1, "Mary")));
	}

	@Before
	public void setup() {
		searchPojo = new LinearSearch<>();
		elements = new ArrayList<>();
		elements.add(new DemoPOJO(1, "Mary"));
		elements.add(new DemoPOJO(2, "Zheng"));
		elements.add(new DemoPOJO(3, "Alex"));

	}
}

4.4 Binary Search

I will create BinarySearchTest.

BinarySearchTest.java

package jcg.zheng.demo.search;

import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import org.junit.Test;

public class BinarySearchTest {

	private int arr[] = { 2, 3, 4, 10, 40 };
	private BinarySearch testClass = new BinarySearch();

	@Test
	public void search_item_found() {
		int itemIndex = testClass.findItemIndex(arr, 0, arr.length - 1, 10);
		assertEquals(10, arr[itemIndex]);
	}

	@Test
	public void search_item_not_found() {
		int itemIndex = testClass.findItemIndex(arr, 0, arr.length - 1, 60);
		assertEquals(-1, itemIndex);
	}

}

4.5 Run Tests

Execute the mvn test command and capture the output here.

Output

-------------------------------------------------------
 T E S T S
-------------------------------------------------------
Running jcg.zheng.demo.search.BinarySearchTest
Tests run: 2, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 0.1 sec
Running jcg.zheng.demo.search.LinearSearch_IntegerTest
Tests run: 2, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 0 sec
Running jcg.zheng.demo.search.LinearSearch_POJOTest
Tests run: 2, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 0 sec
Running jcg.zheng.demo.search.LinearSearch_StringTest
Tests run: 2, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 0 sec

Results :

Tests run: 8, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0

5. Linear Search Java Example – Summary

In this article, I created several Java classes to demonstrate how to implement a linear search. I also tested the search for an Integer, String, and DemoPOJO object. The time complexity of linear searching is O(n). When searching an item from a sorted list, the binary search has an O(log n) complexity.

6. Download the Source Code

This tutorial consists of a Maven project which includes Java classes to implement a linear search and binary search algorithms.

Download
You can download the full source code of this example here: Linear Search Java Example
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