What Is Multiple Queue in Data Structure?


Angela Bailey

In data structures, a multiple queue is a type of queue that allows multiple queues to be stored and managed simultaneously. It is also known as a multi-queue. Each queue in the multiple queue can have its own set of operations and characteristics, making it a versatile data structure for various applications.

The Concept of Multiple Queue

The concept of a multiple queue revolves around the idea of having multiple separate queues, each with its own unique characteristics. These queues can be accessed individually or collectively, depending on the requirements of the application.

A multiple queue can be visualized as a collection of separate lines or queues, where each line represents an individual queue. Each queue operates independently from one another, allowing for efficient handling and processing of different types of data with specific properties.

Operations on Multiple Queue

A multiple queue supports various operations that allow efficient management and manipulation of the individual queues. Some common operations include:

  • Enqueue: Adds an element to a specific queue within the multiple queue.
  • Dequeue: Removes an element from a specific queue within the multiple queue.
  • Peek: Retrieves the front element from a specific queue without removing it.
  • Create Queue: Creates a new empty queue within the multiple queue.
  • Delete Queue: Removes an entire queue from the multiple queue.

Applications of Multiple Queue

The versatility offered by multiple queues makes them suitable for various applications. Some common use cases include:

  • Scheduling Algorithms:

    In operating systems, multiple queues are often used in scheduling algorithms to prioritize different types of processes. Each queue can represent a different priority level, allowing for efficient allocation of system resources.

  • Network Packet Routing:

    In computer networks, multiple queues are utilized in routers to handle incoming network packets.

    Different queues can be assigned for different types of traffic or quality of service requirements, ensuring efficient packet routing and delivery.

  • Printer Spooling:

    In printing systems, multiple queues can be used for printer spooling. Each queue represents a print job waiting to be processed. The use of multiple queues helps in organizing and prioritizing print jobs based on factors such as print size or urgency.

Advantages of Multiple Queue

The use of multiple queues offers several advantages:

  • Efficiency: Multiple queues allow for efficient handling and processing of different types of data with specific characteristics.
  • Flexibility: Each queue within the multiple queue can have its own set of operations and characteristics, providing flexibility in managing different types of data.
  • Prioritization: By assigning different priority levels to each queue, tasks can be prioritized and processed accordingly.


A multiple queue is a powerful data structure that enables the management and processing of multiple separate queues simultaneously. It provides flexibility, efficiency, and prioritization capabilities for various applications such as scheduling algorithms, network packet routing, and printer spooling. Understanding the concept and operations of a multiple queue is crucial for designing efficient systems that deal with different types of data.

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