What Is Binary Tree in Data Structure PDF?


Angela Bailey

Binary trees are a fundamental data structure in computer science and are used to represent hierarchical relationships between elements. In this article, we will explore what binary trees are and how they can be used in various applications.

What is a Binary Tree?

A binary tree is a type of tree data structure in which each node has at most two children, referred to as the left child and the right child. The left child represents the lesser value, while the right child represents the greater value. This ordering property is crucial for efficient searching and sorting operations.

Basic Structure of a Binary Tree

A binary tree consists of nodes connected by edges. Each node contains a value and references to its left and right children (if they exist). The topmost node in a binary tree is called the root node.


  • Root Node: The starting point of the binary tree.
  • Internal Nodes: Nodes that have at least one child.
  • Leaf Nodes: Nodes that do not have any children.

Types of Binary Trees

1. Full Binary Tree:

In a full binary tree, every node has either 0 or 2 children. No node has only one child.

2. Complete Binary Tree:

A complete binary tree is almost full except for the last level, which is filled from left to right without any missing nodes.

3. Perfect Binary Tree:

A perfect binary tree is both full and complete, meaning all levels are completely filled with nodes.

Binary Tree Traversal

Traversal refers to visiting each node in a binary tree exactly once. There are three common methods for binary tree traversal:

1. Inorder Traversal:

In inorder traversal, the left subtree is visited first, followed by the root node, and then the right subtree.

2. Preorder Traversal:

In preorder traversal, the root node is visited first, followed by the left subtree and then the right subtree.

3. Postorder Traversal:

In postorder traversal, the left and right subtrees are visited before the root node.

Applications of Binary Trees

Binary trees have various applications in computer science and beyond. Some of them include:

  • Binary Search Trees (BST): Used for efficient searching and sorting operations.
  • Huffman Coding: Used for data compression.
  • Decision Trees: Used in machine learning algorithms for classification and regression problems.
  • Parsing Expressions: Used in compilers to evaluate arithmetic expressions efficiently.


In conclusion, binary trees are a powerful data structure that allows efficient representation of hierarchical relationships between elements. They play a crucial role in various applications such as searching, sorting, compression, machine learning, and more. Understanding binary trees is essential for every programmer aspiring to master data structures and algorithms.

I hope this article has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of what binary trees are and how they can be used in different scenarios!

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