# What Are Different Data Structure?

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Angela Bailey

Data structures are an essential concept in computer science and programming. They allow us to store, organize, and manipulate data efficiently. In this article, we will explore the different types of data structures commonly used in programming.

## Arrays

An array is a simple and widely used data structure that stores a collection of elements of the same type. It provides random access to its elements using an index. Elements in an array are stored in contiguous memory locations, which makes accessing them fast.

A linked list is a dynamic data structure that consists of nodes connected together via pointers. Each node contains both data and a reference to the next node in the sequence. Linked lists are useful when you need efficient insertion and deletion operations but do not require random access.

## Stacks

A stack is a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) data structure that allows elements to be inserted and removed only from one end called the top. It follows the principle of “last in, first out.” Stacks are commonly used for solving problems involving recursion or managing function calls.

## Queues

A queue is a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) data structure where elements are added at one end called the rear and removed from the other end called the front. Queues are useful for implementing algorithms like breadth-first search or simulating real-life scenarios such as waiting lines.

## Trees

Trees are hierarchical data structures composed of nodes connected by edges. Each node can have zero or more child nodes, except for the root node which has no parent. Trees provide efficient searching, insertion, deletion, and sorting operations.

### Binary Trees

A binary tree is a type of tree where each node has at most two child nodes, commonly referred to as the left child and the right child. Binary trees are extensively used in search algorithms and data storage.

### Binary Search Trees

A binary search tree (BST) is a type of binary tree that follows a specific ordering property. The value of each node in the left subtree is less than its parent, while the value of each node in the right subtree is greater than its parent. BSTs are particularly useful for efficient searching and sorting operations.

## Graphs

A graph consists of a set of vertices or nodes connected by edges. Graphs can be either directed (edges have a specific direction) or undirected (edges have no direction). They are widely used for modeling relationships between objects, network routing, social networks, and more.

### Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG)

A directed acyclic graph is a graph that contains no cycles. DAGs are commonly used in scheduling tasks, topological sorting, and representing dependencies between elements.

### Weighted Graphs

A weighted graph assigns weights or costs to its edges. Weighted graphs are used in various algorithms like Dijkstra’s algorithm for finding the shortest path between two nodes or minimum spanning tree algorithms.

• Summary:
• Data structures play a crucial role in programming by providing efficient ways to store and manipulate data.
• Arrays offer random access to elements but have a fixed size.
• Linked lists allow dynamic insertion and deletion but lack random access.
• Stacks follow LIFO principle and are useful for managing function calls or recursion.
• Queues follow FIFO principle and are used for modeling waiting lines or breadth-first search algorithms.
• Trees are hierarchical structures useful for searching, sorting, and storing data.
• Binary trees and binary search trees have specific properties that facilitate efficient operations.
• Graphs model relationships between objects and are widely used in various applications.
• DAGs have no cycles and are useful in scheduling tasks or representing dependencies.
• Weighted graphs assign weights to edges and are used in algorithms like shortest path or minimum spanning tree.

Understanding these different data structures is essential for choosing the right one for a specific problem and optimizing the performance of your programs. Experimenting with different data structures will help you become a more effective programmer.