Is there a library function that performs binary search on a list/tuple and return the position of the item if found and 'False' (-1, None, etc.) if not?
I found the functions bisect_left/right in the bisect module, but they still return a position even if the item is not in the list. That's perfectly fine for their intended usage, but I just want to know if an item is in the list or not (don't want to insert anything).
I thought of using
bisect_left and then checking if the item at that position is equal to what I'm searching, but that seems cumbersome (and I also need to do bounds checking if the number can be larger than the largest number in my list). If there is a nicer method I'd like to know about it.
Edit To clarify what I need this for: I'm aware that a dictionary would be very well suited for this, but I'm trying to keep the memory consumption as low as possible. My intended usage would be a sort of double-way look-up table. I have in the table a list of values and I need to be able to access the values based on their index. And also I want to be able to find the index of a particular value or None if the value is not in the list.
Using a dictionary for this would be the fastest way, but would (approximately) double the memory requirements.
I was asking this question thinking that I may have overlooked something in the Python libraries. It seems I'll have to write my own code, as Moe suggested.
from bisect import bisect_left def binary_search(a, x, lo=0, hi=None): # can't use a to specify default for hi hi = hi if hi is not None else len(a) # hi defaults to len(a) pos = bisect_left(a, x, lo, hi) # find insertion position return (pos if pos != hi and a[pos] == x else -1) # don't walk off the end
Why not look at the code for bisect_left/right and adapt it to suit your purpose.
def binary_search(a, x, lo=0, hi=None): if hi is None: hi = len(a) while lo < hi: mid = (lo+hi)//2 midval = a[mid] if midval < x: lo = mid+1 elif midval > x: hi = mid else: return mid return -1