What Is LIFO Data Structure With Example?
A LIFO (Last-In-First-Out) data structure is a type of data structure where the last element added to the structure is the first one to be removed. It follows the “last come, first served” principle. This concept is similar to a stack of plates, where you always take the topmost plate off first.
To better understand how LIFO works, let’s consider an example of a stack of books. Assume you have a collection of books that you want to organize in a LIFO manner.
- Step 1: You start with an empty stack.
- Step 2: You add book ‘A’ to the stack.
- Step 3: You add book ‘B’ to the stack.
- Step 4: You add book ‘C’ to the stack.
The current state of our LIFO data structure can be represented as:
Now, if we want to remove an element from this LIFO data structure, we would remove book ‘C’. Following the principle, the most recently added book will be removed first.
After removing book ‘C’, our LIFO data structure will look like:
Similarly, if we remove another element from this LIFO data structure, we would remove book ‘B’.
After removing book ‘B’, our LIFO data structure will look like:
Finally, if we remove another element from this LIFO data structure, we would remove book ‘A’.
After removing book ‘A’, our LIFO data structure will be empty:
- No elements
Advantages of LIFO Data Structure:
LIFO data structure offers several advantages in various scenarios. Here are a few key advantages:
- Simple implementation: LIFO data structure can be easily implemented using arrays or linked lists.
- Efficient memory utilization: LIFO uses a contiguous block of memory, resulting in efficient memory utilization.
- Quick insertion and deletion operations: Since elements are added and removed from one end, inserting or deleting an element takes constant time (O(1)).
Common Applications of LIFO Data Structure:
LIFO data structure finds its applications in various real-world scenarios, some of which include:
- Function call stack: In programming languages, the function call stack uses a LIFO data structure to keep track of function calls and their respective return addresses.
- Undo/Redo functionality: Many applications implement undo/redo functionality using a LIFO data structure to store actions performed by the user.
- Browsing history: Web browsers use a LIFO data structure to maintain the browsing history. The most recently visited URL is displayed first when you click the back button.
In conclusion, understanding the concept of LIFO data structure is crucial for designing efficient algorithms and solving problems efficiently. Its simplicity and various applications make it an essential concept to grasp for any programmer or computer science enthusiast.
Remember, practice is key to mastering this topic. So, don’t hesitate to experiment and implement LIFO data structures in your own projects to gain a deeper understanding.