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Algorithms in C, Parts 1-4: Fundamentals, Data Structures, Sorting, Searching, Third Edition by Robert Sedgewick

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Chapter Twelve. Symbol Tables and Binary Search Trees

The retrieval of a particular piece or pieces of information from large volumes of previously stored data is a fundamental operation, called search, that is intrinsic to a great many computational tasks. As with sorting algorithms in Chapters 6 through 11, and in particular priority queues in Chapter 9, we work with data divided into records or items, each item having a key for use in searching. The goal of the search is to find the items with keys matching a given search key. The purpose of the search is usually to access information within the item (not merely the key) for processing.

Applications of search are widespread, and involve a variety of different operations. For example, consider ...

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