Do you want to learn what is data structure and why data structures are important in Programming ?
If your answer is yes, then this article is made for you.
In the previous article, we have discussed about concepts of Algorithm and its importance in Programming. If you interested in Algorithm and don’t read the article yet, you can read from here important of Algorithm.
Data Structures and Algorithms both are equally very important in programming.
In this article, I will focus only on data structures and trying to cover all basic concepts of data structure.
Ok, let’s get started.
What is Data Structure ?
A data structure is a way of storing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently.
A data structure is a specialized format for organizing and storing data in memory.
What are the types of Data Structures?
There are a number of types of data structures. However, data structures are broadly divided into two types 1) Linear Data Structure and 2) Nonlinear Data Structure.
Linear Data Structure
A data structure is said to linear if its elements form a sequence or a liner list. A linear data structure traverses the data elements sequentially in which one data element can directly be reached.
Different types of data structures are comes under Linear data structure i.e. 1) Arrays, 2) Linked Lists, 3) Stack, 4) Queue
Arrays – Array is a collection of items having same data type stored in contiguous memory allocation.
Linked Lists– A linked list is a complex data structure, especially useful in systems or applications programming. A linked list is comprised of a series of nodes, each node containing a data element and a pointer to the next node.
Stack– A stack is a special type of data structure where items are inserted from one end called top of stack and items are deleted from the same end. Stack follows the Last In First Out (LIFO) policy because the element which is added last will be removed first.
Queue– A queue is a data structure where elements are inserted from one end and deleted from the other end. Queue follows the policy of First In First Out (FIFO) because elements are inserted from rear end and deleted from the front end.
Nonlinear Data Structure
A data structure is said to be nonlinear if its elements cannot form a sequence or a linear list. Every data item is attached to several other data items in a way that is specific for reflecting relationship.
Nonlinear data structure further divided into two types i.e. 1) Tree and 2) Graph.
Trees– Trees is a data structure accessed beginning at the root node. Each node is either a leaf or an internal node. The root is usually depicted at the top of the structure and leaves are depicted at the bottom.
Graph– A graph is a data structure that consists of a set of nodes and set of edges that establish relationships between the nodes.
What are the different operations of data structures?
The data in the data structures are processed by certain operations. Some common operations are 1) Traversal, 2) Search, 3) Insertion, 4) Deletion, 5) Sorting, and 6) Merging
Traversal: Traversing a data structure means to visit the element stored in it.
Search: It is used to searching a number from thousands of random numbers.
Insertion : Adding a new element to the data structure
Deletion: Removing an element from the data structure, garbage collection, memory utilization and optimization.
Sorting: Arranging the elements in some order, appropriate sorting method for appropriate architecture.
Merging: Combining two similar data structures into one.
Why data structures are important in programming ?
A computer is an electronic device and perform the operation in accordance with computer program.
A computer program is a collection or sequence of instructions written on programming languages.
The name suggested that a data structure is used to store and organize data in the structural form.
The data structure provides a set of techniques to the programmer for handling the data efficiently. Programmer can write the code in any programming language with minimal effort.
Data structure is alone a big topic, it is not possible to add every nuts and bolts of data structure in a single article, it may become too lengthy.
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Looking to know more about data structure and computer programming, we have stock of articles on programming & computer science. Link of few articles are given below:
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- What are the benefits of learning computer programming
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- How to make money with software development
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