If-else vs Switch Case: Difference and Comparison

What is If-else?

The `if else` statement is a control shape in programming that allows the execution of code blocks based totally on positive situations. It’s like instructing this system on what moves to absorb conditions.

The working of ‘if else’ is as follows – When a condition is checked within an `if` assertion and if it turns out to be accurate, the associated code block is completed. If the situation evaluates to false, the code block in the else` announcement (if there’s one) receives carried out rather.

The beauty of `if else` statements lies in their versatility. They can manage eventualities ranging from assessments to complicated choice-making procedures. Moreover, developers can chain if statements together to deal with multiple conditions sequentially. In addition, builders can create complicated decision trees by nesting `if statements inside each different.

What is Switch Case?

The `switch-case` statement is a control structure in programming designed to simplify selection-making primarily based on the fee of an unmarried expression. It allows the software to pick out a particular code block to execute from a fixed of predetermined cases.

The value of an expression is evaluated, and this system compares it to the values related to numerous `case` labels. When a healthy is discovered, the code block corresponding to that case is done. A non-compulsory `default` block may be executed if no matches are discovered.

`Switch-case` is especially useful whilst handling situations where a variable or expression will have a couple of discrete values and extraordinary moves want to be taken based totally on the values of the one. It could make code more concise and readable than a chain of `if-else` statements for the identical cause.

Difference Between If-else and Switch Case

  1. The control flow of if-else is based on a circumstance conditional branching, while, on the other hand, the control flow of the switch case is based on the value of the expression.
  2. The number of if-else conditions can address numerous combinations and conditions. In contrast, the number of conditions is primarily used for the limited set of values.
  3. The fall-through behaviour shown by if-else is that there is no implicit fall, and one branch is executed, whereas, on the other hand, the switch case allows the implicit fall and multiple branches are executed. 
  4. The code clarity of if-else is best for complex situations where the conditions aren’t easily categorized. At the same time, the code clarity of the switch case is best for the single expression with multiple scenarios option.
  5. The performance of if-else varies depending on the complex conditions. In contrast, the performance of the switch case is efficient for large cases.
  6. The readability of if-else becomes less while handling large conditions. On the other hand, the readability of switch cases becomes more readable while handling distinct cases.
  7. In if-else, it is easy to perform range checks, whereas, on the other hand, in the switch case, it is not suitable for performing range checks.
  8. In the case of if-else, the conditions can overlap and be authentic. On the other hand, in the switch case, the conditions are exclusive and cannot be overlapped.

Comparison Between If-else and Switch Case

Parameter of ComparisonIf-elseSwitch Case
Control FlowIt is based totally on a circumstance conditional branchingIt is primarily based on the value of the expression
Number of ConditionsIt is able to address numerous combinations and conditionsIt is primarily used for the limited set of value
Fall-Through BehaviourThere is no implicit fall, and only one branch is executedIt allows implicit fall, and multiple branches are executed
Code ClarityIt is best for complex situations where the conditions aren’t easily categorizedIt is best for the single expression with multiple scenarios option
PerformanceVaries depending on the complex conditionsIt is efficient for large cases
ReadabilityIt becomes less readable while handling large conditionsIt becomes more readable while handling distinct cases
Range ChecksEasy to perform checksNot suited for performing range check
Overlapping ConditionsIn this case, the conditions can overlap, and they can be trueIn this case, conditions are exclusive and do not overlap

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  1. https://www.open-std.org/Jtc1/sc22/WG21/docs/papers/2004/n1741.pdf
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1389095.1389436

Last Updated : 24 January, 2024

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