**What Is Data Structure? Types of Data Structures**

Data structure is a way of organizing and storing data in a computer so that it can be accessed and manipulated efficiently. It provides a systematic way to organize data, making it easier to perform various operations on the data.

## Types of Data Structures

Data structures can be classified into several types based on their organization, storage method, and access mechanism. Let’s explore some commonly used data structures:

### 1. Arrays

An array is a collection of elements of the same type arranged in a contiguous memory block. It allows efficient random access to its elements using an index.

### 2. Linked Lists

A linked list consists of nodes where each node contains both data and a reference (or pointer) to the next node in the sequence. It enables dynamic memory allocation and efficient insertion and deletion operations.

### 3. Stacks

A stack is an abstract data type that follows the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle. Elements are added or removed from only one end, known as the top of the stack. It supports two primary operations: push (adding an element) and pop (removing an element).

### 4. Queues

A queue is an abstract data type that follows the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle. Elements are added at one end (rear) and removed from the other end (front). It supports two primary operations: enqueue (adding an element) and dequeue (removing an element).

### 5. Trees

A tree is a hierarchical data structure consisting of nodes connected by edges. Each node can have zero or more child nodes, except for the topmost node called the root. Trees are used to represent hierarchical relationships between elements.

### 6. Graphs

A graph is a collection of vertices (nodes) connected by edges. It is a versatile data structure used to represent relationships between objects. Graphs can be directed (edges have a specific direction) or undirected.

### 7. Hash Tables

A hash table (or hash map) is a data structure that uses a hash function to map keys to array indices, allowing efficient lookup, insertion, and deletion operations. It provides fast access to data using key-value pairs.

## In Conclusion

Data structures play a crucial role in computer science and programming. Understanding their types and characteristics helps programmers choose the appropriate data structure for their specific needs, ensuring efficient storage and retrieval of data.

Remember, mastering data structures is essential for becoming a proficient developer!