In this article at OpenGenus, we have explained 7 Advantages and 5 Disadvantages of Linear Search. This will give you a core insight about Linear Search.
Table of contents:
- Summary Table
- 7 Advantages of Linear Search
- 5 Disadvantages of Linear Search
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Search are as follows:
|7 Advantages||5 Disadvantages|
|Simplicity and ease of implementation||Worst case time complexity is O(N)|
|Best case time complexity of O(1)||Not suitable for Sorted data|
|Average case is same as Worst Case: Constant expectation||Not suitable for frequent searches|
|No additional memory space required||Not suitable for data structures with non-sequential access|
|Best searching algorithm for data with < 512 elements||Not suitable for very large data|
|Works on any data structure that allows sequential access||-|
|Can handle frequently changing data||-|
7 Advantages of Linear Search
The Advantages of Linear Search are as follows:
- Simplicity and ease of implementation
Linear Search is the most basic algorithm and consists of only a loop to traverse through all the elements.
- Best case time complexity of O(1)
The best case time complexity is O(1) so in specific cases, Linear Search can be expected to give the correct answer immediately.
- Average case is same as Worst Case: Constant expectation
The time complexity for average case is same as the worst case that is O(N). So, on average, the performance or execution time of Linear Search will be almost same so users can expect the execution duration accordingly.
- No additional memory space required
As there is no addition memory requirement, it is one of the preferred algorithms for searching when they is restriction on memory and no maximum time requirement.
- Best searching algorithm for data with < 512 elements
Linear Search is best search algorithms for small datasets where the number of elements is less than 512.
- Works on any data structure that allows sequential access
Any data structure that allows sequential access like array is best suited for Linear Search.
- Can handle frequently changing data
There is no change in the algorithm or any extra performance overhead in case of changing dataset like adding new elements or deleting a few elements.
5 Disadvantages of Linear Search
The Disadvantages of Linear Search are as follows:
- Worst case time complexity is O(N)
The worst case time complexity of Linear Search is O(N) that is in all cases, one needs to traverse the entire dataset. Other search algorithms exist that have better time complexity.
- Not suitable for Sorted data
When data is sorted, Linear Search is not suitable because it does not take advantage of the sorted data.
- Not suitable for frequent searches
When same search is done frequently, Linear Search takes the same time everytime. This is an overhead as the algorithm should cache frequent search like a cache.
- Not suitable for data structures with non-sequential access
If we are dealing with data structures like Linked List which have non-sequential access, Linear Search is not a good approach as sequential access is required for each element and the non-sequential access becomes an overhead.
- Not suitable for very large data
When we are dealing with a huge dataset, linear search should not even be an option. Using Linear Search on a large dataset can deal progress by a significant amount of time.
With this article at OpenGenus, you must have the complete idea of Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Search.