//! \brief A recursive binary search using STL vectors
//! \param vec The vector whose elements are to be searched
//! \param start The index of the first element in the vector
//! \param end The index of the last element in the vector
//! \param key The value being searched for
//! \return The index into the vector where the value is located,
//! or -1 if the value could not be found.
template<typename T>
int binary_search(const std::vector<T>& vec, unsigned start, unsigned end, const T& key)
{
// Termination condition: start index greater than end index
if(start > end)
{
return -1;
}
// Find the middle element of the vector and use that for splitting
// the array into two pieces.
const unsigned middle = start + ((end - start) / 2);
if(vec[middle] == key)
{
return middle;
}
else if(vec[middle] > key)
{
return binary_search(vec, start, middle - 1, key);
}
return binary_search(vec, middle + 1, end, key);
}

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