I'm curious about what article should I use. I want to ask the following question:

Does [a/the] binary search algorithm imply distinct keys?

On the one hand, binary search algorithm is one of many searching algorithms. On the other hand, I'm not talking about a search algorithm in general but I'm talking about the specific one.

  • Apparently, there's such a thing as a Noisy binary search, which I imagine would be relevant if you were trying to perform a binary search on a table potentially containing duplicate keys. Btw - I think most people would use unique keys rather than distinct keys in your context. To clarify that you're talking about a specific algorithm, I suggest you ask Does this algorithm [have such-and-such an attribute?] Mar 15, 2018 at 14:44
  • (Note that the could be contextually inferred to refer to the specific algorithm being discussed, but a would imply any and all binary search algorithms - to which per my preceding comment, the answer would obviously be No, not necessarily.) Mar 15, 2018 at 14:50


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