What Is Vertices in Data Structure?

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Larry Thompson

What Is Vertices in Data Structure?

In the field of data structure, a vertex is a fundamental concept that plays a crucial role in representing and organizing data. Vertices are commonly used in graph theory and are the building blocks of graphs.

Understanding Vertices

A vertex, also known as a node, is an entity that represents a distinct element or object within a graph. It can be thought of as a point or a location that holds some information. In terms of graph theory, vertices can represent various things such as cities, people, web pages, or any other discrete entity.

A graph consists of vertices and edges. An edge connects two vertices and represents the relationship between them. For example, in a social network graph, vertices may represent users, while edges denote friendships or connections between them.

Properties of Vertices

1. Degree:

The degree of a vertex refers to the number of edges connected to it.

It indicates how many neighbors or adjacent vertices are connected to the current vertex. The degree can be classified into inward degree (in-degree) and outward degree (out-degree) based on the directionality of the edges.

2. Weight:

In some cases, vertices may have associated weights or values that provide additional information about them. For example, in a weighted graph representing distances between cities, each vertex may have a weight indicating its population size.

Operations on Vertices

Addition:

  • To add a new vertex to an existing graph, we need to create an empty node and connect it with the desired edges.

Removal:

  • To delete a vertex from a graph, all edges connected to that vertex need to be removed, and the vertex itself is deleted.

Traversal:

  • Traversing vertices involves visiting each vertex in a graph based on a specific algorithm or traversal technique, such as depth-first search (DFS) or breadth-first search (BFS).

Conclusion

In summary, vertices are essential components of graphs in data structures. They represent discrete objects and are connected by edges to form relationships. Understanding vertices and their properties is crucial for performing various operations on graphs and analyzing their structure.

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