What Is Linear Data Structure and Types?

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Larry Thompson

What Is Linear Data Structure and Types?

A data structure is a way of organizing and storing data in a computer’s memory. It defines how the data is arranged, accessed, and manipulated.

In computer science, there are various types of data structures, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. One common type of data structure is the linear data structure.

Linear Data Structure

A linear data structure is a data structure in which elements are arranged sequentially or linearly. This means that each element has a direct successor and predecessor, except for the first and last elements. The order of elements in a linear data structure is fixed.

There are several types of linear data structures:

1. Arrays

An array is a collection of elements stored at contiguous memory locations. It can store elements of the same type, such as integers or characters. The elements in an array can be accessed using their index values, which start from 0 for the first element.

2. Linked Lists

A linked list is a collection of nodes where each node contains both the data and a reference (or link) to the next node in the sequence. Unlike arrays, linked lists do not require contiguous memory allocation. They allow dynamic memory allocation and efficient insertion/deletion operations at any position.

3. Stacks

A stack is an abstract data type that follows the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle. In other words, the element added last will be removed first from the stack. It supports two main operations: push (to insert an element onto the stack) and pop (to remove an element from the top of the stack).

4. Queues

A queue is an abstract data type that follows the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle. It works similar to a real-life queue, where the first person who enters the queue is the first one to leave. It supports two main operations: enqueue (to insert an element at the rear of the queue) and dequeue (to remove an element from the front of the queue).

5. Deques

A deque, short for double-ended queue, is a linear data structure that allows insertion and deletion of elements from both ends. It combines the features of stacks and queues, providing flexibility in manipulating elements from either end.

6. Strings

A string is a sequence of characters stored as a linear data structure. It can be represented as an array or linked list of characters. Strings are commonly used to store and manipulate textual data in programming languages.

These are some common types of linear data structures used in computer science and programming. Each type has its own characteristics that make it suitable for specific tasks or scenarios. Understanding these data structures can help you choose the most efficient approach when solving problems or designing algorithms.

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