## Feature #4766

### Range#bsearch

Status: | Closed | ||
---|---|---|---|

Priority: | Normal | ||

Assignee: | Yusuke Endoh |

**Description**

Hello,

I propose Range#bsearch for binary search:

ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]

p (0..4).bserach {|i| ary[i] >= 4 } #=> 1

p (0..4).bserach {|i| ary[i] >= 6 } #=> 2

p (0.0...Float::INFINITY).bsearch {|x| Math.log(x) >= 0 } #=> 1.0

Rdoc:

- call-seq:
- rng.bsearch {|obj| block } -> element *
- Returns the minimum value in range which meets the block by binary search.
- The block must be monotone for arguments; in other words, it must have any
- following properties: *
- - there is a value so that the block returns false for any smaller value
- than the value, and that the block returns true for any bigger (or
- equal) value than the value,
- - the block always return true, or
- - the block always return false. *
- If the block is not monotone, the behavior is not unspecified. *
- Returns nil when there is no value that meets the block.. * *
- ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]
- (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 4 } #=> 1
- (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 6 } #=> 2
- (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 8 } #=> 3
- (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 100 } #=> nil *
- (0.0...Float::INFINITY).bsearch {|x| Math.log(x) >= 0 } #=> 1.0 * *
- Note that this method does not stop search immediately when the block
- returns true. This is because this method find the
*minimum*value: * - ary = [0, 100, 100, 100, 200]
- (0..4).bsearch {|i| p ary[i]; ary[i] >= 100 }
- # may output "100" more than once

Discussion:

You might think Array#bsearch is better. But Array#bsearch has some problems:

Binary search is usable for not only an array but also a function.

(See the above example for Math.log)

Nevertheless, Array#bsearch can be used only for an array.

Range#bsearch covers both. You can use it for an array as follows:ary.sort!

i = (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| condition(ary[i]) }

p ary[i]matz hated Array#bsearch because its precondition (Array must be sorted)

seems too strong (to him).

Range#bsearch has the same precondition in effect (the block must be

monotone), but there is a difference that this condition is for "code",

not "state". In fact, Array#sort has a similar condition.

I think there is demand for this feature because similar feature requests

are often proposed:

More importantly, this feature is often required in many programming

contests :-)

A patch is attached. Thank you for your consideration.

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

**Related issues**

### Associated revisions

range.c (range_bsearch): fix some bugs: a documentation bug, a wrong

condition, missed break in switch/case, and workaround for GCC

optimization. See in detail. A great patch from

Heesob Park. [Bug #7352] [Feature #4766]array.c (rb_ary_bsearch): fix similar bug (missed break).

test/ruby/test_range.rb: add two test cases for above.

range.c (range_bsearch): fix some bugs: a documentation bug, a wrong

condition, missed break in switch/case, and workaround for GCC

optimization. See in detail. A great patch from

Heesob Park. [Bug #7352] [Feature #4766]array.c (rb_ary_bsearch): fix similar bug (missed break).

test/ruby/test_range.rb: add two test cases for above.

### History

#### #1 Updated by Kenta Murata over 4 years ago

Hi,

On 2011年5月23日月曜日 at 1:52, Yusuke Endoh wrote:

You might think Array#bsearch is better. But Array#bsearch has some problems:

I think Range is better position than Array in which the bsearch method is, too.

I want this feature.

--

Kenta Murata

Sent with Sparrow

#### #2 Updated by Yukihiro Matsumoto over 4 years ago

**Status**changed from*Open*to*Rejected*

I seriously considered about the issue, but I feel something wrong about this feature proposal. Binary search requires the target to be ordered. In that sense, Arrays in general are not ordered, ranges are appeared to be ordered. But "order" is in the eyes of beholder. Once you supply the block, the ordered attribute of a range does not mean anything. Besides that, as the example in the document shows, Range#bsearch is more indirect than say, Array#bsearch.

If we have to assume ordered status of the target anyway,

min = ary.bsearch{|i| i > 4}

is much better than

n = (0..ary.size).bsearch{|i| ary[i] > 4}

min = ary[n]

isn't it?

matz.

#### #3 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

**Target version**changed from*1.9.3*to*2.0.0*

Thank you for your time.

Once you supply the block, the ordered attribute of a range does not mean anything.

I'm not sure if I could understand this correctly. If the block handles

its parameter in terms of the ordered attribute, is there no problem?

Else, any method must work even if a supplied block ignores the context?

Array#sort violates the rule, I think.

Besides that, as the example in the document shows, Range#bsearch is more indirect than say, Array#bsearch.

Yes, for typical cases. But Array#bsearch is not enough since it cannot

be used over Float or big range.

Anyway, I'm NOT against Array#bsearch. It is a good thing. But You

rejected it. Now do you accept Array#bsearch?

Binary search is a practical matter than philosophy.

Hope my proposal to get reconsidered.

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #4 Updated by Konstantin Haase over 4 years ago

It might make sense for SortedSet (part if the stdlib), though.

Konstantin

On Jun 1, 2011, at 13:07 , Yusuke Endoh wrote:

Issue #4766 has been updated by Yusuke Endoh.

Target version changed from 1.9.3 to 1.9.x

Thank you for your time.

Once you supply the block, the ordered attribute of a range does not mean anything.

I'm not sure if I could understand this correctly. If the block handles

its parameter in terms of the ordered attribute, is there no problem?Else, any method must work even if a supplied block ignores the context?

Array#sort violates the rule, I think.Besides that, as the example in the document shows, Range#bsearch is more indirect than say, Array#bsearch.

Yes, for typical cases. But Array#bsearch is not enough since it cannot

be used over Float or big range.Anyway, I'm NOT against Array#bsearch. It is a good thing. But You

rejected it. Now do you accept Array#bsearch?Binary search is a practical matter than philosophy.

Hope my proposal to get reconsidered.--

## Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp¶

Feature #4766: Range#bsearch

http://redmine.ruby-lang.org/issues/4766Author: Yusuke Endoh

Status: Rejected

Priority: Normal

Assignee: Yukihiro Matsumoto

Category:

Target version: 1.9.xHello,

I propose Range#bsearch for binary search:

ary

#### #5 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

**Status**changed from*Rejected*to*Assigned***Assignee**changed from*Yukihiro Matsumoto*to*Yusuke Endoh*

Hello,

Today I talked with matz and got his approval about this ticket,

under the following two condition:

- commit it to trunk
- provide not only Range#bsearch but also Array#bsearch
- avoid C-level undefined behavior (e.g., SEGV)

Once matz expressed opposition because Array#bsearch may return

unspecified result when the array is not sorted. But Array#sort

may also return unspecified result when the block is inconsistent.

So Array#bsearch is not so strange API in the aspect, and actually

useful. So matz approved it eventually.

So I'm changing this ticket to accepted, and will write a patch.

If anyone has any idea, feel free to express your opinions.

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #6 Updated by Thomas Sawyer over 4 years ago

How is this useful? It's basically "find minimum" value, right? What difference does it make that it uses a binary search?

If binary searching is important, then why not have a #beach --which can then be used to extrapolate any variety of other methods.

#### #7 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

How is this useful? It's basically "find minimum" value, right? What difference does it make that it uses a binary search?

If binary searching is important, then why not have a #beach --which can then be used to extrapolate any variety of other methods.

Maybe I'm not sure your point.

It finds minimum value by using binary search.

Does the name `bsearch' matter? Is`

beach' really suitable?

I add a practical example of Range#bsearch for Float domain.

The following code obtains the interior radius between 3 circles

of radii a,b,c that are circumscribed each other, by using law of

cosines three times:

(0.0 .. [a,b,c].min).bsearch do |t|

u, v = (t+a+b)*t, a*b
s = Math.acos((u - v) / (u + v))
u, v = (t+b+c)*t, b*c
s += Math.acos((u - v) / (u + v))
u, v = (t+c+a)*t, c*a

s += Math.acos((u - v) / (u + v))

s <= Math::PI * 2

end

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #8 Updated by Thomas Sawyer over 4 years ago

Hi, thanks for example. I may not fully understand bsearch, but basically what I mean is that if finding minimum value is the important thing, then why not call it #find_minimum ? (and what about #find_maximum ?). But if binary search is what is important than could not a #beach (b-each) be combined with a variety of uses.

to_enum(:beach).min to_enum(:beach).max to_enum(:beach).map

etc.

#### #9 Updated by Eric Hodel over 4 years ago

The method is not about finding the minimum, it's about binary search. It has the additional behavior of finding the minimum value at the boundary condition for the block. If multiple values match the boundary condition the minimum is chosen.

Read the example in the proposed RDoc

#### #10 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

2011/7/17 Thomas Sawyer transfire@gmail.com:

Hi, thanks for example. I may not fully understand bsearch, but basically what I mean is that if finding minimum value is the important thing, then why not call it #find_minimum ? (and what about #find_maximum ?). But if binary search is what is important than could not a #beach (b-each) be combined with a variety of uses.

I understand you. In principle, a method name should not represent

how it does but what it does.

But in this case, the feature has a strict pre-condition: the array

must be sorted. So, the name #find_minimum is too generic.

We may call it #find_minimum_from_sorted_array or so, but I believe

#bsearch is more suitable.

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #11 Updated by Thomas Sawyer over 4 years ago

@eric So you are saying #bsearch *is* #beach --that the minimum value return is just an aside to have the return value be useful? But won't the min value logic interfere with trying to do anything else with bsearch, e.g. "to_enum(:bsearch).max"?

Also, the proposed documentation starts out with "Returns the minimum value", so that indicates a different main purpose.

n

#### #12 Updated by Eric Hodel over 4 years ago

No, it's not about finding any minimum value, it's about binary search:

I propose Range#bsearch for binary search

and

Returns […] by binary search

The important information in English does not necessarily come first. To make it more clear maybe it should read:

Performs a binary search using the block as criteria. If multiple items match the criteria the minimum (first) value is chosen.

You do know what a "binary search" is, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_search

When performing a binary search you may have multiple matching values, the three 100 values from the example. For the proposed implementation the first one is chosen for consistency.

Nobody knows what the #beach method you keep talking about would be. Maybe you mean binary-search-each? That doesn't make any sense as binary search will not yield each item in the enumerator. If you think that this method will yield each item please read about binary search first.

#### #13 Updated by Anonymous over 4 years ago

On Jul 17, 2011, at 7:54 PM, Eric Hodel wrote:

When performing a binary search you may have multiple matching values, the three 100 values from the example. For the proposed implementation the first one is chosen for consistency.

Nobody knows what the #beach method you keep talking about would be. Maybe you mean binary-search-each? That doesn't make any sense as binary search will not yield each item in the enumerator.

I wouldn't say "nobody". I think what he's suggesting is a more flexible binary-search-each which yields all elements for which the block is true. Hear this out:

The current implementation's result is equivalent to Enumerable#min, except it requires sorted order so it can use binary search. This adds the asymptotic speedup to the #min method.

This is handy, but what if someone wanted the maximum? Or just the first element that matches?

Those are equivalent, respectively, to Enumerable#max and Enumerable#find. Personally, I think I'd usually just want to get the first one that matches, and not use extra cycles computing the minimum. There's room for choice which the current implementation lacks. Further, they can't be built based on the new method. They have to be written from scratch.

These could be implemented with a base, binary_matches method, with selection logic added on. Assume binary_matches takes a block, and returns an enumerator for all elements for which the block yields true. It can do so in O(log(n)) time. This is just a thrown together API, a better API likely exists. If you had such a method, you could implement the existing proposal (min), max, and find as such, giving all the log(n) speedup:

# The current bsearch proposal renamed to bsearch_min.

def bsearch_min(&blk)

binary_matches(&blk).min

end

# Returns the largest elt for which the block yields true

def bsearch_max(&blk)

binary_matches(&blk).max

end

# Returns the first-discovered elt for which the block yields true

def bsearch_find(&blk)

binary_matches(&blk).each do |elt|

return elt if blk.call(elt)

end

end

This seems useful to me.

Michael Edgar

adgar@carboni.ca

http://carboni.ca/

#### #14 Updated by Anonymous over 4 years ago

On Jul 17, 2011, at 8:12 PM, Michael Edgar wrote:

## Returns the first-discovered elt for which the block yields true¶

def bsearch_find(&blk)

binary_matches(&blk).each do |elt|

return elt if blk.call(elt)

end

end

Whoops, this is silly. It should be as follows:

def bsearch_find(&blk)

binary_matches(&blk).first

end

I rewrote the first two methods when I came up with the strawman binary_matches API, and forgot to rewrite the third.

Michael Edgar

adgar@carboni.ca

http://carboni.ca/

#### #15 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

Hello,

Thank you for all your opinions!

2011/7/18 Michael Edgar adgar@carboni.ca:

This is handy, but what if someone wanted the maximum?

Please invert the condition. For example, if you want the maximum

index holding that the element is less than 7:

ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]

p (0..4).bserach {|i| !(ary[i] < 7) } #=> 1

Indeed it is not so cool, but similar to Array#sort. If it is

possible only by inverting, I'm afraid if we need paticular methods

for each use case.

Or just the first element that matches?

Good question :-) Interestingly, break can be used.

ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]

p (0..4).bsearch {|i| break i if ary[i] >= 4 }

#=> 1, 2, 3 or 4 (probably 2, but I don't think it might be changed

in future extension)

an enumerator for all elements for which the block yields true.

I agree that it seems neat, but it is ambiguous to me how it works

concretely. What do you expect the following code outputs?

ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]

p (0..4).bsearch_matches {|i| ary[i] >= 4 }.to_a #=> ?

And, I guess binary_matches(&blk).min takes O(m) where m is the

number of results because Enumearble#min and #max find the value by

iterating all elements.

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #16 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

Oops,

2011/7/18 Yusuke ENDOH mame@tsg.ne.jp:

Or just the first element that matches?

Good question :-) Â Interestingly, break can be used.

Â ary

#### #17 Updated by Anonymous over 4 years ago

On Jul 18, 2011, at 1:30 AM, Yusuke ENDOH wrote:

I agree that it seems neat, but it is ambiguous to me how it works

concretely. What do you expect the following code outputs?

I see now my misunderstanding; the "minimum value" heuristic

exists not to provide additional utility, but merely to direct tie-breaking

in the binary search in a consistent manner.

My proposed bsearch_matches would clearly need to know which

direction to break ties before it commenced (perhaps a 1/0/-1

argument), which starts to limit its usefulness. While I personally

would prefer this as a base implementation for several methods to

bsearch with inverted block condition or "break" in the block,

I can't honestly say my idea would be worth it for a first implementation.

It does still irk me that the general name "bsearch" would have the

minimum-tie-breaking built-in, without that being reflected in the

name or an argument. The additional behavior may surprise users.

Michael Edgar

adgar@carboni.ca

http://carboni.ca/

#### #18 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

**File**bsearch.patch added

Hello,

Let me summarize.

There are two typical use cases for bsearch: from array soreted

in ascending order,

1) find minimum i so that s <= a[i]

2) find any i so that s == a[i]

Case 2 is the point I overlooked; "find minimum" is not inherent

in binary search.

In fact, the API that I proposed covers both use cases.

1) r.bsearch {|i| s <= a[i] }

2) r.bsearch {|i| break i if s == a[i]; s < a[i] }

But,

My proposed bsearch_matches would clearly need to know which

direction to break ties before it commenced (perhaps a 1/0/-1

argument), which starts to limit its usefulness.

indeed, Case 2 can be shorter by using 1/0/-1.

2) r.bsearch {|i| s - a[i] }

As Michael said, it is too cryptic for casual use, but certainly

more generic, and compatible to bsearch of stdlib.h.

How about combining 1/0/-1 and my proposal? That is,

if the block returns zero,

the current value satisfies the condition;

return the current value immediately

if the block returns an integer less than zero,

the current value is too big to satisfy the condition;

continue to search smaller values

if the block returns an integer greater than zero,

the current value too big to satisfy the condition;

continue to search larger values

if the block returns true,

the current value satisfies the condition;

continue to search minimum bound

if the block returns false or nil, same as -1

It is still needed to invert the condition when you want the

maximum bound, but I guess this is acceptable compromise.

I updated rdoc and a patch. As you know I'm not a native

speaker, so could you check it?

/*

* call-seq:

* rng.bsearch {|obj| block } -> element

*

* By using binary search, finds a value in range which meets the given

* condition in O(n log n) where n = (rng.begin - rng.end).

*

* The given block receives a current value, determines if it meets the

* condition and controls search.

* When the condition is satisfied and you want to stop search, the block

* should return zero, and then this method return the value immediately.

* When the condition is satisfied and you want to find minimum bound,

* the block should return true. When the condition is not satisfied and

* the current value is smaller than wanted, the block should return false,

* nil or an integer greater than zero. When the condition is not satisfied

* and the current value is larger than wanted, the block should return an

* integer less than zero.

* Unless the block returns zero, the search will continue until a minimum

* bound is found or no match is found. Returns the minimum bound if any,

* or returns nil when no match is found.

*

* The block must be monotone; there must be two values a and b so that

* the block returns:

* - false, nil or an integer greater than zero for all x of [begin of

* range, a), and

* - zero or true for all x of [a, b), and

* - an integer less than zero for all x of [b, end of range).

* If the block is not monotone, the result is unspecified.

*

* This method takes O(n log n), but it is unspecified which value is

* actually picked up at each iteration.

*

* ary = [0, 4, 7, 10, 12]

* (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 4 } #=> 1

* (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 6 } #=> 2

* (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 8 } #=> 3

* (0...ary.size).bsearch {|i| ary[i] >= 100 } #=> nil

*

* (0.0...Float::INFINITY).bsearch {|x| Math.log(x) >= 0 } #=> 1.0

*

* ary = [0, 100, 100, 100, 200]

* (0..4).bsearch {|i| 100 - i } #=> 1, 2 or 3

* (0..4).bsearch {|i| 300 - i } #=> nil

* (0..4).bsearch {|i| 50 - i } #=> nil

*/

Thanks,

--

Yusuke Endoh mame@tsg.ne.jp

#### #19 Updated by Yusuke Endoh over 4 years ago

**File**deleted ()*range-bsearch.patch*

#### #20 Updated by Roger Pack over 3 years ago

Hope this can be committed at some point...

#### #21 Updated by Koichi Sasada about 3 years ago

ping. status?

#### #22 Updated by Yusuke Endoh about 3 years ago

**Status**changed from*Assigned*to*Closed***% Done**changed from*0*to*100*

This issue was solved with changeset r37655.

Yusuke, thank you for reporting this issue.

Your contribution to Ruby is greatly appreciated.

May Ruby be with you.

#### #23 Updated by Usaku NAKAMURA about 3 years ago

**Status**changed from*Closed*to*Assigned*

in range.c, the definition of a macro BSEARCH_CHECK includes:

switch (rb_cmpint(rb_funcall(v, id_cmp, 1, INT2FIX(0)), v, INT2FIX(0)) < 0) { \ case 0: return val; \ case 1: smaller = 1; \ case -1: smaller = 0; \ } \

But, in C, the value of compare expression is only 0 or 1, so this

code is nonsence.

What do you want to do here?

#### #24 Updated by Usaku NAKAMURA about 3 years ago

**Status**changed from*Assigned*to*Closed*

Oh, Park-san perfectly pointed out this problem in .

So I close this ticket.