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This tag is for questions about search algorithms, tools, and technologies.

Searching is one of the most common and important tasks in Computer Science.

The most basic search algorithm is a linear search (also called "sequential search"). Each item in a collection of data is examined in sequence until the sought item is found.

If the collection in question has already been sorted then a more efficient is possible.

Search can become more complex when, rather than finding one instance of a specific item, we want to find all items meeting a certain set of criteria. For instance a query can specify extremely complex search criteria, and much of relational database design involves the planning of an efficient way to perform those searches.