min_element


Category: algorithms 
Component type: function 
Prototype
Min_element is an overloaded name; there are actually two
min_element functions.
template <class ForwardIterator>
ForwardIterator min_element(ForwardIterator first, ForwardIterator last);
template <class ForwardIterator, class BinaryPredicate>
ForwardIterator min_element(ForwardIterator first, ForwardIterator last,
BinaryPredicate comp);
Description
Min_element finds the smallest element in the range [first, last).
It returns the first iterator i in [first, last) such that no
other iterator in [first, last) points to a value smaller than *i.
The return value is last if and only if [first, last) is an empty
range.
The two versions of min_element differ in how they define whether one
element is less than another. The first version compares
objects using operator<, and the second compares objects using
a function object comp.
The first version of min_element returns
the first iterator i in [first, last) such that, for every
iterator j in [first, last), *j < *i is false.
The second version returns
the first iterator i in [first, last) such that, for every
iterator j in [first, last), comp(*j, *i) is false.
Definition
Defined in the standard header algorithm, and in the nonstandard
backwardcompatibility header algo.h.
Requirements on types
For the first version:
For the second version:

ForwardIterator is a model of Forward Iterator.

BinaryPredicate is a model of Binary Predicate.

ForwardIterator's value type is convertible to BinaryPredicate's
first argument type and second argument type.
Preconditions

[first, last) is a valid range.
Complexity
Linear. Zero comparisons if [first, last) is an empty range,
otherwise exactly (last  first)  1 comparisons.
Example
int main()
{
list<int> L;
generate_n(front_inserter(L), 1000, rand);
list<int>::const_iterator it = min_element(L.begin(), L.end());
cout << "The smallest element is " << *it << endl;
}
Notes
See also
min, max, max_element, LessThan Comparable,
sort, nth_element
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