Breadth-First Search

Breadth-First Search

What is it?

Breadth-First Search is a tool that helps you find a path between two nodes in a graph by exploring the nodes in a breadth-first manner.

How can it be useful to you? When you're exploring a network, tree, or graph and need to find the shortest path or want to ensure you've checked all immediate possibilities before moving to the next level.

The Party Connection

Imagine you're at a social gathering and you want to find out if you share a mutual friend with a stranger. You'd start by asking your immediate friends (1st level of connections) if they know this person. If none of them do, you'd ask your friends to check with their friends (2nd level of connections). This process continues, moving to further levels of connections until the mutual friend is found. This method, where you ask all your direct friends first before moving to friends of friends, mirrors the BFS algorithm.

The Supermarket Aisles

Suppose you're in a supermarket, searching for a particular product. You start with the first aisle, scanning every item on it. If you don't find the product, you proceed to the next aisle, and the next, until you find the product or finish checking all the aisles. This approach, where you check each aisle completely before moving to the next, is an example of BFS.

The Book Club

You're in a book club an ...