What Is Pair Data Structure in Java?

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Larry Thompson

What Is Pair Data Structure in Java?

The pair data structure is a container that stores two elements together as a single entity. In Java, there is no built-in pair data structure in the standard libraries. However, you can easily create your own pair class to represent a pair of values.

Creating a Pair Class

To create a pair class, you can define a new class with two private instance variables representing the two elements of the pair. Additionally, you can provide getter and setter methods for each element.

Here’s an example implementation of a generic pair class:


public class Pair<T, U> {
    private T first;
    private U second;

    public Pair(T first, U second) {
        this.first = first;
        this.second = second;
    }

    public T getFirst() {
        return first;
    }

    public void setFirst(T first) {
        this.first = first;
    }

    public U getSecond() {
        return second;
    }

    public void setSecond(U second) {
        this.second = second;
    }
}

Using the Pair Class

Once you have defined the pair class, you can use it to store pairs of values. Here’s an example usage:


Pair<String, Integer> person = new Pair<>("John Doe", 30);
System.out.println("Name: " + person.getFirst());
System.println("Age: " + person.getSecond());

In this example, we create a new pair object with a string representing the name and an integer representing the age. We then retrieve each element using the getter methods and print them to the console.

Benefits of Pair Data Structure

The pair data structure is useful in scenarios where you need to group two related values together. It provides a convenient way to pass around or return multiple values from a method.

Some common use cases for pairs include:

  • Storing coordinates (x, y) in a 2D space
  • Representing key-value pairs in a map
  • Returning multiple values from a method

By encapsulating two elements into a single pair object, you can improve code readability and maintainability. It also allows you to easily pass the pair object as an argument or return it from a method.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the pair data structure in Java allows you to store two elements together as a single entity. Although there is no built-in pair class in the standard libraries, you can create your own pair class to fulfill your requirements. The pair data structure is beneficial in scenarios where you need to group related values together, providing improved code readability and maintainability.

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