Beautiful Branchless Binary Search
I read a blog post by Alex Muscar, “Beautiful Binary Search in D“. It describes a binary search called “Shar’s algorithm”. I’d never heard of it and it’s impossible to google, but looking at the algorithm I couldn’t help but think “this is branchless.” And who knew that there could be a branchless binary search? So I did the work to translate it into a algorithm for C++ iterators, no longer requiring one-based indexing or fixed-size arrays.
In GCC it is more than twice as fast as std::lower_bound, which is already a very high quality binary search. The search loop is simple and the generated assembly is beautiful. I’m astonished that this exists and nobody seems to be using it…Read the rest of this entry »