Finding a specific member of an array means searching the array until the member is found. It's possible that the member does not exist and the programmer must handle that possibility within the logic of his algorithm. Two specific searches can be made for the maximum (largest) values in the array or the minimum (smallest) value in the array. Maximum and minimum are also know as max and min.
There are two basic ways of searching for a specific value:
- Linear search
- Binary search
"The linear search is a very simple algorithm. Sometimes called a sequential search, it uses a loop to sequentially step through an array, starting with the first element. It compares each element with the value being search for, and stops when either the value is found or the end of the array is encountered. If the value being searched for is not in the array, the algorithm will search to the end of the array."2
Binary search is not cover in this module. Linear search and searching for the maximum is demonstrated in the demo file provided, thus you need to study this material in conjunction with the demo program.