Linear search is a basic searching algorithm used to find the position of an element in a given list or array. It scans each element of the list sequentially until it finds a match or reaches the end of the list. In this article, we will explore the concept of linear search in data structure with an example.

## How does Linear Search work?

The linear search algorithm starts from the beginning of the list and compares each element with the Target value. If a match is found, it returns the index position of that element. If no match is found after scanning through all elements, it returns -1 to indicate that the Target value is not present in the list.

## Example:

Let’s understand how linear search works with an example:

**Step 1:** Consider a list of numbers: [4, 9, 2, 7, 5]

**Step 2:** We want to find the position/index of the number 7 in this list.

**Step 3:** Starting from the first element (4), we compare it with our Target value (7). Since they are not equal, we move on to the next element.

**Step 4:** Comparing 9 with our Target value (7) again gives us no match.

We continue to iterate through each element.

**Step 5:** Finally, when we reach the fourth element (7), we find a match. Therefore, we return its index position as 3.

## Pseudocode for Linear Search:

__Pseudocode:__
function linearSearch(list, Target):
for i in range(0, length(list)):
if list[i] == Target:
return i
return -1

The above pseudocode represents the algorithmic steps involved in linear search. It takes a list and a Target value as parameters and returns the index position of the Target value if found, or -1 if not found.

## Advantages and Disadvantages:

__Advantages:__

- Linear search is simple to understand and implement.
- It works well for small-sized lists or arrays.
- No prior knowledge of the data structure is required.

__Disadvantages:__

- Linear search has a time complexity of O(n), where n is the number of elements in the list. This means that as the size of the list increases, the time taken to search also increases linearly.
- For large-sized lists, other searching algorithms like binary search or hash tables are more efficient.

## Conclusion:

In conclusion, linear search is a straightforward searching algorithm that sequentially compares each element in a list or array until it finds a match. While it may not be efficient for large-sized lists, it serves as an excellent starting point for understanding searching algorithms in data structures.

I hope this article has provided you with a clear understanding of what linear search is in data structures with an example. Happy coding!