What Is Parent Node in Tree Data Structure?


Larry Thompson

The parent node is a fundamental concept in the tree data structure. In a tree, each node can have zero or more child nodes, and the node at the top of the hierarchy is called the root node. The nodes directly connected to a specific node are called its children, and the node from which a particular node is reached is called its parent.

Understanding the Parent Node:
The parent node is an essential element that helps establish relationships within a tree. It provides structural organization and allows for efficient navigation through the tree structure. By defining parent-child relationships, we can easily traverse the tree and perform various operations.

Parent Node Relationships:
In a tree, each child has only one parent node. However, a parent can have multiple children. This hierarchical arrangement ensures that each element in the tree has a clear position relative to others.

Traversing Through Parent Nodes:
Traversing through parent nodes is crucial for many tree operations. To access the parent of a specific node, we use various traversal algorithms such as depth-first search (DFS) or breadth-first search (BFS). These algorithms allow us to move up from child nodes to their respective parents until we reach the desired node.

Examples of Parent Nodes:
Let’s consider an example of a file system represented as a tree structure. In this case, each file or folder represents a node in the tree. The root directory acts as the parent for all other directories and files within it.

  • The “Documents” folder has two children: “Work” and “Personal”. Therefore, “Documents” becomes their parent.
  • The “Work” folder further has subfolders like “Projects” and “Reports”, making “Work” their parent.
  • The file named “budget.xlsx” resides inside the “Reports” folder; thus, “Reports” is its parent node.

Understanding the concept of a parent node is crucial in comprehending tree structures. It helps establish relationships between nodes and provides a clear hierarchy within the tree. By grasping the parent-child relationships, we can efficiently navigate and perform operations on tree data structures.

Key Takeaways:

– The parent node is an element that connects child nodes in a tree structure. – Each node can have only one parent but may have multiple children.

– Traversal algorithms like DFS and BFS are used to access parent nodes. – Parent nodes establish hierarchical relationships within the tree. – Understanding the concept of a parent node is vital for efficient tree operations.

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