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Linear Search in Python using OOP Concepts

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Table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Linear Search
  3. OOP Concepts
  4. Implementing Linear Search using OOP
  5. Example Usage
  6. Conclusion


Linear search is a basic searching algorithm that sequentially examines each element in a list to find the target value. While not the most efficient search algorithm for large datasets, it serves as a fundamental concept in computer science and is essential to understand. In this article at OpenGenus, we will explore how to implement the linear search algorithm in Python using Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts. By leveraging the power of OOP, we can create a reusable and modular linear search class that can be easily integrated into different projects.

Understanding Linear Search

Linear search, also known as sequential search, works by traversing a list of elements one by one until the desired target is found or the end of the list is reached. It has a time complexity of O(n), where 'n' is the number of elements in the list. This means the search time grows linearly with the size of the list.

OOP Concepts

  1. Class and Object:
    In Python, a class is a blueprint for creating objects. Objects are instances of a class that encapsulate data and methods. We will use a class to define the linear search functionality, and objects of this class will perform the actual searching on different lists.

  2. Constructor (__init__):
    The constructor is a special method that initializes the object when it is created. We'll use it to initialize the list to be searched and the target element.

  3. Method:
    Methods are functions defined inside a class and are used to perform actions on the object's data. We'll create a method to implement the linear search algorithm.

Implementing Linear Search using OOP

Let's start by creating our LinearSearch class with the necessary methods:

class LinearSearch:
    def __init__(self, target_list, target_element):
        self.target_list = target_list
        self.target_element = target_element
        self.found_index = -1

    def search(self):
        for index, element in enumerate(self.target_list):
            if element == self.target_element:
                self.found_index = index


  • We define the LinearSearch class with a constructor (__init__), which takes two arguments: target_list (the list to be searched) and target_element (the element we want to find in the list).
  • The constructor initializes three instance variables: target_list, target_element, and found_index. found_index will store the index of the target element if found, or remain -1 if not found.
  • We create a search method that performs the linear search. It uses a for loop to iterate over the elements in target_list using the enumerate() function, which gives both the index and element at that index.
  • Inside the loop, we compare each element with the target_element. If a match is found, we update the found_index with the current index and break out of the loop.

Example Usage

Now, let's use our LinearSearch class to search for an element in a list:

# Sample list for demonstration
my_list = [12, 45, 78, 34, 56, 90, 23]

# Create an instance of LinearSearch
search_instance = LinearSearch(my_list, 56)

# Perform the search

# Check if the element is found and display the result
if search_instance.found_index != -1:
    print(f"Element found at index: {search_instance.found_index}")
    print("Element not found in the list.")


  • We create a sample list my_list with some elements.
  • Next, we create an instance of LinearSearch called search_instance and pass my_list and the target element 56 to the constructor.
  • We call the search() method on search_instance to perform the linear search.
  • Finally, we check the value of found_index. If it is not equal to -1, it means the element is found, and we display its index. Otherwise, we print a message indicating that the element is not present in the list.


In this article at OpenGenus, we have explored how to implement the linear search algorithm in Python using Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts. By creating a LinearSearch class, we encapsulated the search functionality into a reusable and modular unit. Linear search, though not the most efficient, is an important concept to understand, as it forms the basis for more complex searching algorithms.

Remember that while OOP is a powerful paradigm for organizing code and promoting reusability, for large datasets or frequently performed searches, more efficient search algorithms like binary search or hash-based methods should be considered.

Linear Search in Python using OOP Concepts
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