What Is Peek in Queue in Data Structure?

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Angela Bailey

In the world of data structures, queues are an essential concept. A queue is a linear data structure that follows a FIFO (First In, First Out) order.

This means that the item that is inserted first will be the first one to be removed. However, there are scenarios where we need to take a sneak peek at the element that is at the front of the queue without removing it. This is where the concept of ‘peek in queue’ comes into play.

Understanding Peek in Queue

Peek in queue refers to the operation of examining the element at the front of the queue without actually removing it. It allows us to get a glimpse of what’s next in line, without altering the actual order of elements.

Implementation

To implement ‘peek in queue’, we can use various programming languages such as C++, Java, or Python. Here’s an example using C++:


#include <iostream>
#include <queue>

int main() {
  std::queue<int> myQueue;
  
  myQueue.push(10);
  myQueue.push(20);
  myQueue.push(30);
  
  int peekElement = myQueue.front();
  
  std::cout << "The element at the front of the queue is: " << peekElement;
  
  return 0;
}

In this example, we create a queue called ‘myQueue’ and push three elements into it – 10, 20, and 30. The statement myQueue.front() returns the element at the front of the queue without removing it. We store this element in ‘peekElement’ and display it using std::cout.

Use Cases

The ‘peek in queue’ operation has various practical applications. Let’s explore a few:

  • Priority Queue: Peek in queue allows us to check the element with the highest priority in a priority queue without removing it. This helps us make informed decisions based on the priority of elements.
  • Process Scheduling: In operating systems, peek in queue is used to determine which process is at the front of the ready queue, enabling efficient process scheduling.
  • Browsing History: Web browsers often use queues to maintain browsing history. Peek in queue allows users to see the title of the webpage at the front of their browsing history without actually navigating to it.

Conclusion

‘Peek in queue’ is a useful operation that allows us to examine the element at the front of a queue without removing it. It finds applications in various domains, including priority queues, process scheduling, and browsing history. By using this operation wisely, we can enhance efficiency and make informed decisions based on the order of elements in a queue.

So next time you encounter a scenario where you need to take a sneak peek at what’s next in line, remember to use ‘peek in queue’!

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