Another Recursive Function Problem

Posted on 2011-02-22
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
"Cannot convert parameter 2 from int to int*" is the error in the function... can anyone tell me WHY?  I want to call the function again, but with what parameters?


#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

int binarySearch(int, int*, int);

int main()
      int myList[10] = {1,7,13,17,24,38,45,50,100,1000};

      int num;
      int loc;
        int i;

      cout << "The list you entered is: " << endl;
      for (i=0; i < sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int); i++)
         cout << myList << " ";
      cout << endl;

      cout << "Enter search item: ";
      cin >> num;
      cout << endl;

      binarySearch(num, myList, sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int));
      loc = binarySearch(num, myList, sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int));

      if (loc != -1)
            cout << "Item found at position " << loc << endl;
            cout << "Item not in the list" << endl;

      return 0;

int binarySearch(int item, int *list, int length)
        int first = 0;
      int last = length - 1;
      int mid;

      if (first <= last)
            mid = (first + last) / 2;

            if (list[mid] == item)
                  return mid;
            else if(list[mid] > item)
                  return binarySearch(item, first, mid - 1);
                  return binarySearch(item, mid + 1, last);
            return -1;
Question by:Member_2_4213139
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 34956814
Okay. When you first call the function you used:
binarySearch(num, myList, sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int));
num is an int, myList is an array (int*), sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int) is an int

This matches the function definition of
int binarySearch(int item, int *list, int length)

The second time you called the function, you used:
return binarySearch(item, first, mid - 1);
item is still an int (good), but first is an int too (the function is expecting an array)
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

TommySzalapski earned 500 total points
ID: 34956834
Each time you call the function all the variables get reset. The 'list' in the first time you call the function is not visible to the second call. Each one has its own.

You need to set it up like this
int binarySearch(int item, int *list, int start, int length)

Then the first call would look like
binarySearch(num, myList, 0, sizeof(myList)/sizeof(int));

and the other two
                  return binarySearch(item, list, first, mid - 1 + 1);
                  return binarySearch(item, list, mid + 1, last + 1); //need to add 1 since you do last - length -1
Then do
first = start
instead of first - 0
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34956864
your function int binarySearch(int item, int *list, int length) takes the following parameters
int item - an integer
int *list - an integer pointer - which in your case points to an array of integers
int length - an integer

you are trying to call it recursively with three integers you need to call it with a new pointer to the correct point in the list list.  probably the best way is to assign the pointer to a local array variable
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 34956879
TommySzalapski's approach is clearer - hope it works for you.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34956979
While it did work, it caused a stack overflow when a number not in the list was chosen... however, this is the best yet!  THANK YOU!!!
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 34957068
You could put a condition
If first == last && list[mid] != item
  return -1;

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