What Is Accessor in Data Structure?


Angela Bailey

An Accessor in data structure refers to a method or function that is used to retrieve the value of a specific data item. It provides a way to access and retrieve data elements stored in a data structure, such as an array, list, or object.

Types of Accessors

In general, there are two types of accessors:

  • Get Accessor: This type of accessor is used to retrieve the value of a specific data item.
  • Find Accessor: This type of accessor is used to search for and retrieve the value of a specific data item based on certain criteria.

Get Accessor

The get accessor is commonly associated with object-oriented programming languages. It allows you to access private or protected members (variables) of an object from outside the class.

By defining a get accessor for a particular member variable, you can expose its value without directly accessing it. This promotes encapsulation and provides controlled access to the underlying data.

To define a get accessor in languages like C#, Java, or Python, you typically use the keyword get followed by the name of the property or method that represents the data item you want to retrieve. Here’s an example in C#:

public class Person
    private string name;

    public string Name
        get { return name; }

In this example, we have a class called Person with a private member variable name. The get accessor for the Name property allows us to retrieve the value of the name variable from outside the class.

Find Accessor

The find accessor is commonly used in data structures like arrays and lists to search for a specific value and retrieve its associated data. It allows you to locate an item based on a certain condition or criteria.

For example, if we have an array of integers and we want to find the index of the first occurrence of a particular number, we can use the find accessor. Here’s an example in JavaScript:

const numbers = [2, 4, 6, 8, 10];

function findIndex(array, Target) {
    for (let i = 0; i < array.length; i++) {
        if (array[i] === Target) {
            return i;
    return -1;

const TargetNumber = 6;
const index = findIndex(numbers, TargetNumber);

console.log(`The index of ${targetNumber} is ${index}`);

In this example, the findIndex function takes an array and a Target number as parameters. It iterates over the array and checks each element against the Target number.

If a match is found, it returns the index of that element. Otherwise, it returns -1.


Accessors play a crucial role in data structures by providing convenient ways to access and retrieve data elements. Whether it's getting the value of a private member variable or finding an item based on certain criteria, accessors help make our code more organized and maintainable.

By understanding how accessors work and when to use them, you can effectively work with different data structures and make your code more efficient.

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