What Is Directed and Undirected Graph in Data Structure?


Scott Campbell

When it comes to data structures, graphs are an essential concept to understand. Graphs consist of nodes (also known as vertices) and edges, which connect these nodes.

In the realm of graphs, there are two main types: directed graphs and undirected graphs. Let’s delve deeper into each type and understand their characteristics.

Directed Graph:

A directed graph, also known as a digraph, is a type of graph where edges have a specific direction. This means that the connection between two nodes has an arrow indicating the flow or path from one node to another. In other words, the relationship between the nodes is one-way.

Key Features:

  • Direction: Each edge in a directed graph has a specific direction.
  • Arrows: Arrows are used to indicate the direction of edges.

Digraphs are widely used in various real-world scenarios, such as representing web pages and their links, representing dependencies in project management, modeling transportation networks, and more. They provide a powerful way to represent relationships between entities.

Undirected Graph:

In contrast to directed graphs, undirected graphs do not have any designated direction for their edges. This means that the relationship between two nodes is bidirectional or symmetrical. In other words, if there is an edge connecting node A to node B, then there is also an edge connecting node B to node A.

Key Features:

  • Bidirectional: Edges in undirected graphs are bidirectional.
  • No Arrows: There are no arrows indicating the direction of edges.

Undirected graphs are commonly used in various scenarios, such as social networks, where the connections between individuals are mutual. They also find applications in computer networks, representing friendship connections, and more.


To summarize the differences between directed and undirected graphs:

  • Direction: Directed graphs have edges with a specific direction, while undirected graphs do not.
  • Arrows: Directed graphs use arrows to indicate edge direction, while undirected graphs have no arrows.
  • Bidirectionality: Edges in undirected graphs are bidirectional, whereas edges in directed graphs may not be.

Understanding the differences between these two types of graphs is crucial when it comes to designing algorithms and solving problems related to graph theory. It allows us to model and analyze real-world scenarios more accurately.

In conclusion, directed and undirected graphs are fundamental concepts in graph theory. Directed graphs have edges with specific directions indicated by arrows, while undirected graphs have bidirectional edges with no designated direction.

Both types of graphs play a significant role in various fields and provide a powerful way to represent relationships between entities. By understanding their characteristics, we can better analyze and solve problems related to graph theory.

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