What Is Data Structure Suffix?


Larry Thompson

Data Structure Suffix

In the realm of computer science and programming, data structures play a crucial role in organizing and manipulating information efficiently. One such data structure that we will explore in this tutorial is the suffix data structure. Suffixes are an essential component of string manipulation algorithms and can be extremely useful in a variety of applications.

What is a Suffix?

A suffix is a sequence of characters that occurs at the end of a string. For example, in the word “programming,” the suffixes are “g,” “ng,” “ing,” and “ming.” In simple terms, a suffix represents all possible endings of a given string.

Why Use Suffix Data Structure?

The primary motivation behind using a suffix data structure is to efficiently perform various operations on strings, such as substring matching, pattern searching, and indexing. By precomputing and storing relevant information about suffixes, we can significantly improve the efficiency of these operations.

Common Operations on Suffix Data Structures:

  • Substring Matching: Given a query string, we can quickly determine if it is present as a substring within the original string by utilizing the suffix data structure.
  • Pattern Searching: We can search for occurrences of a specific pattern within the original string using various algorithms like the Knuth-Morris-Pratt or Boyer-Moore algorithm.
  • Longest Common Substring: The suffix data structure enables us to find the longest common substring between two or more strings efficiently.
  • Suffix Sorting: Sorting all possible suffixes of a given string is another common operation that can be performed using suffix data structures.

Types of Suffix Data Structures:

There are several popular data structures used to store and manipulate suffixes efficiently. Some of the common ones include:

  • Suffix Array: A suffix array is an array that contains all the suffixes of a given string in sorted order. It allows for efficient pattern searching and substring matching operations.
  • Suffix Tree: A suffix tree is a tree-like data structure that represents all possible suffixes of a string. It provides fast substring matching and other useful operations.
  • Compressed Suffix Array: This data structure is an optimized version of the suffix array that reduces space consumption while maintaining most of its functionality.


Suffix data structures are powerful tools for string manipulation and can greatly enhance the efficiency of various operations. By storing relevant information about suffixes, we can perform tasks such as substring matching, pattern searching, and sorting with ease. Understanding and utilizing these data structures can be immensely beneficial in algorithm design and software development.

So, the next time you encounter a problem involving string manipulation, consider leveraging the power of suffix data structures to simplify your solution!

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