“Bit vector” problems such as this one actually have many different analogs. (Graphics processing, in particular, comes to mind.)
Arrays of rgb or rgba (or CMK or HSA) are not bit vectors.
For instance, if you are routinely looking for bit-strings that are (say) only 20-30 bits long, then there really isn’t any alternative but to pedantically growl through the buffer.
There isn't any alternative. Full stop. Regardless of the length of the needles.
But when a sensible algorithm can locate 1 million bits close to the end of a 1/4 billion bits in 0.25 seconds, who cares if you have to "pedantically growl".
Strategies such as the one which I previously suggested would be of no real value,
It is of no value. Full stop.
Even if you try to press strategies such as Moore into service, you find that they are not nearly so effective in this situation
if by "Moore" you mean Boyer Moore; you're wrong again. It requires some modifications, but it can be very useful. Just not with microcoded scan loops.
Hence, the necessity to “divide and conquer.” To find some rune by which you can quickly eliminate all places where the data could not be.
There's no necessity. And anything that takes longer than 1/4 of a second is pointless.
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