ArrayList.BinarySearch Method (Object, IComparer)


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Searches the entire sorted ArrayList for an element using the specified comparer and returns the zero-based index of the element.

Namespace:   System.Collections
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

Public Overridable Function BinarySearch (
	value As Object,
	comparer As IComparer
) As Integer


Type: System.Object

The Object to locate. The value can be null.

Type: System.Collections.IComparer

The IComparer implementation to use when comparing elements.


null to use the default comparer that is the IComparable implementation of each element.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32

The zero-based index of value in the sorted ArrayList, if value is found; otherwise, a negative number, which is the bitwise complement of the index of the next element that is larger than value or, if there is no larger element, the bitwise complement of Count.

Exception Condition

comparer is null and neither value nor the elements of ArrayList implement the IComparable interface.


comparer is null and value is not of the same type as the elements of the ArrayList.

The comparer customizes how the elements are compared. For example, you can use a CaseInsensitiveComparer instance as the comparer to perform case-insensitive string searches.

If comparer is provided, the elements of the ArrayList are compared to the specified value using the specified IComparer implementation. The elements of the ArrayList must already be sorted in increasing value according to the sort order defined by comparer; otherwise, the result might be incorrect.

If comparer is null, the comparison is done using the IComparable implementation provided by the element itself or by the specified value. The elements of the ArrayList must already be sorted in increasing value according to the sort order defined by the IComparable implementation; otherwise, the result might be incorrect.

Comparing null with any type is allowed and does not generate an exception when using IComparable. When sorting, null is considered to be less than any other object.

If the ArrayList contains more than one element with the same value, the method returns only one of the occurrences, and it might return any one of the occurrences, not necessarily the first one.

If the ArrayList does not contain the specified value, the method returns a negative integer. You can apply the bitwise complement operation (~) to this negative integer to get the index of the first element that is larger than the search value. When inserting the value into the ArrayList, this index should be used as the insertion point to maintain the sort order.

This method is an O(log n) operation, where n is Count.

The following example creates an ArrayList of colored animals. The provided IComparer performs the string comparison for the binary search. The results of both an iterative search and a binary search are displayed.

Imports System
Imports System.Collections

Public Class SimpleStringComparer
    Implements IComparer

    Function Compare(x As Object, y As Object) As Integer Implements IComparer.Compare
          Dim cmpstr As String = CType(x, String)
          Return cmpstr.CompareTo(CType(y, String))
    End Function
End Class

Public Class MyArrayList
    Inherits ArrayList

    Public Shared Sub Main()
        ' Creates and initializes a new ArrayList.
        Dim coloredAnimals As New MyArrayList()

        coloredAnimals.Add("White Tiger")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Pink Bunny")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Red Dragon")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Green Frog")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Blue Whale")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Black Cat")
        coloredAnimals.Add("Yellow Lion")

        ' BinarySearch requires a sorted ArrayList.

        ' Compare results of an iterative search with a binary search
        Dim index As Integer = coloredAnimals.IterativeSearch("White Tiger")
        Console.WriteLine("Iterative search, item found at index: {0}", index)

        index = coloredAnimals.BinarySearch("White Tiger", New SimpleStringComparer())
        Console.WriteLine("Binary search, item found at index:    {0}", index)
    End Sub

    Public Function IterativeSearch(finditem As Object) As Integer
        Dim index As Integer = -1

        For i As Integer = 0 To MyClass.Count - 1
            If finditem.Equals(MyClass.Item(i))
                index = i
                Exit For
            End If
        Next i
        Return index
    End Function
End Class
' This code produces the following output.
' Iterative search, item found at index: 5
' Binary search, item found at index:    5

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
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