## depth-first search

A graph search algorithm which extends the current path as far as possible before backtracking to the last choice point and trying the next alternative path. Depth-first search may fail to find a solution if it enters a cycle in the graph. This can be avoided if we never extend a path to a node which it already contains.

Opposite of breadth first search. See also iterative deepening.

Last updated: 1995-04-19

### Nearby terms:

Deployment Descriptor ♦ deprecated ♦ **depth-first search** ♦ deque ♦ dequeue

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