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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 Fourteen. Hashing

The search algorithms that we have been considering are based on an abstract comparison operation. A significant exception to this assertion is the key-indexed search method in Section 12.2, where we store the item with key i in table position i, ready for immediate access. Key-indexed search uses key values as array indices rather than comparing them, and depends on the keys being distinct integers falling in the same range as the table indices. In this chapter, we consider hashing, an extension of key-indexed search that handles more typical search applications where we do not happen to have keys with such fortuitous properties. The end result is a completely different approach to search from the comparison-based methods—rather ...

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