What Is LIFO in Data Structure Example?


Scott Campbell

What Is LIFO in Data Structure Example?

A data structure is a way of organizing and storing data so that it can be accessed and manipulated efficiently. One popular data structure is the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) structure. In this article, we will explore what LIFO is and provide an example to help you understand its concept.

LIFO: Overview

LIFO, as the name suggests, follows the principle of “last in, first out.” This means that the last element added to the data structure will be the first one to be removed. It can be visualized as a stack of items where you can only access or modify the topmost item.

In computer science, LIFO is commonly used in stack-based algorithms and applications. It provides an efficient way to store and retrieve data when order doesn’t matter but preserving the sequence of addition does.

LIFO: Example

Let’s consider a real-life example to better understand LIFO. Imagine you have a stack of plates on a table:

  • You start by placing a red plate on the table.
  • Next, you add a blue plate on top of the red plate.
  • Then, you add a green plate on top of the blue plate.

If someone asks you to give them a plate from this stack, which one would they receive? They would receive the green plate because it is at the top of the stack – the last one that was added. This is exactly how LIFO works!

LIFO Implementation

In programming, we can implement LIFO using various data structures such as arrays or linked lists. Let’s see an example using an array in JavaScript:

// Create an empty array to act as our LIFO stack
let stack = [];

// Push elements onto the stack

// Pop the top element from the stack
let topElement = stack.pop();

console.log(topElement); // Output: "green"

As you can see, we created an empty array called stack. We then pushed three elements onto the stack using the push() method.

Finally, we popped the top element from the stack using the pop() method and stored it in the variable topElement. The output of this code is “green,” which is consistent with LIFO behavior.


LIFO, or Last-In-First-Out, is a data structure that allows you to access or modify only the most recently added element. It is widely used in computer science and programming for various applications. By understanding LIFO and its implementation, you can leverage its benefits when designing algorithms or solving problems that require this type of data organization.

In summary:

  • LIFO follows the principle of “last in, first out.”
  • LIFO is commonly used in stack-based algorithms and applications.
  • You can implement LIFO using arrays, linked lists, or other data structures.
  • The most recently added element is accessed or modified first in LIFO.

I hope this article has provided you with a clear understanding of LIFO in data structures along with a practical example. Now you’re ready to apply this knowledge to your own programming projects!

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