# What Is Struct Node in Data Structure?

//

Angela Bailey

The struct node is a fundamental concept in data structures. It serves as the building block for many commonly used data structures like linked lists, trees, and graphs. Understanding the struct node is essential for anyone looking to delve into the world of data structures and algorithms.

## What is a Struct Node?

A struct node, also known as a structure or simply a node, is a user-defined data type that contains multiple elements of different types. It allows us to create complex data structures by grouping related information together.

In C and C++, the struct keyword is used to define a struct node. For example:

``````
struct Node {
int data;
struct Node* next;
};
```
```

In this example, we define a struct node called “Node” that contains an integer variable called “data” and a pointer to another Node called “next”. This forms the basis of a linked list where each node holds an integer value and points to the next node in the list.

## Why Use Struct Nodes?

The use of struct nodes allows us to organize and manage large amounts of data efficiently. By grouping related information together, we can easily access and manipulate the data within each node.

• Linked Lists: In linked lists, each node contains both data and a reference (pointer) to the next node. This enables efficient insertion, deletion, and traversal operations.
• Trees: In trees, each node represents an element and points to its child nodes.

This hierarchical structure enables efficient searching, sorting, and storage of hierarchical data.

• Graphs: In graphs, nodes represent vertices and edges represent relationships between vertices. Struct nodes allow us to store additional information about each vertex, such as its neighbors or weights.

## Accessing Struct Node Elements

To access the elements within a struct node, we use the dot (.) operator in C and C++.

For example, to access the “data” element of a Node called “n”, we can use `n.data`. Similarly, to access the “next” element, we can use `n.next`.

Here’s an example that demonstrates accessing struct node elements:

``````
struct Node n;
n.data = 10;
n.next = NULL;

printf("Data: %d\n", n.data);
printf("Next: %p\n", n.next);
```
```

This code creates a Node called “n” and assigns a value of 10 to its “data” element. It also sets the “next” element to NULL. The printf statements then display the values of these elements.

## Conclusion

The struct node is a vital concept in data structures. It allows us to organize and manage data efficiently by grouping related information together. Whether it’s linked lists, trees, or graphs, understanding struct nodes is crucial for building and manipulating complex data structures.

By using struct nodes effectively, you can unlock the power of data structures and optimize your algorithms for various applications.