Which Data Structure Is Used in Elevator System?


Heather Bennett

Which Data Structure Is Used in Elevator System?

When it comes to designing an efficient elevator system, the choice of data structure plays a significant role. A data structure is a way of organizing and storing data effectively, allowing for quick access and manipulation. In this article, we will explore some common data structures used in elevator systems and discuss their advantages and limitations.

1. Array

An array is a simple data structure that stores elements of the same type in contiguous memory locations.

In an elevator system, an array can be used to represent the floors that the elevator serves. Each element of the array represents a floor, and its value can indicate whether the elevator is currently at that floor or not.


  • Simplicity: Arrays are straightforward to implement and understand.
  • Constant Time Access: Accessing elements in an array is done in constant time (O(1)), making it efficient for finding the current floor of the elevator.


  • Fixed Size: Arrays have a fixed size, which means they cannot dynamically resize to accommodate changing needs. This limitation can be problematic if there are more floors than initially anticipated or if floors are added or removed.
  • Inefficient Insertion/Deletion: Inserting or deleting elements in an array requires shifting all subsequent elements, resulting in inefficient time complexity (O(n)). This limitation can impact performance when new floors are added or existing ones are removed.

2. Linked List

A linked list is a dynamic data structure composed of nodes that store data and a reference to the next node.

In an elevator system, a linked list can be used to represent the floors that the elevator serves. Each node represents a floor, and the next reference points to the next floor.


  • Dynamic Size: Linked lists can grow or shrink dynamically, allowing for flexibility in adding or removing floors.
  • Efficient Insertion/Deletion: Inserting or deleting nodes in a linked list requires updating references, resulting in efficient time complexity (O(1)). This advantage makes it suitable for elevator systems with changing floor configurations.


  • Traversal Overhead: To find a specific floor in a linked list, traversal from the beginning is required, resulting in linear time complexity (O(n)). This limitation can affect performance when searching for a particular floor.

3. Priority Queue

A priority queue is a data structure that maintains elements with associated priorities. In an elevator system, a priority queue can be used to determine the order in which requests are serviced based on their urgency or proximity to the current floor.


  • Prioritization: A priority queue ensures that higher priority requests are serviced first, improving efficiency and user experience.


  • Inefficient Access Time: Accessing elements in a priority queue typically requires traversing through the entire structure until finding the element with the highest priority. This process results in logarithmic time complexity (O(log n)), which may impact performance for large elevator systems with many requests.

In Conclusion

Choosing the appropriate data structure for an elevator system is essential to ensure efficient operation and optimal performance. Array, linked list, and priority queue are just a few examples of data structures used in elevator systems, each with its advantages and limitations.

Ultimately, the choice of data structure depends on various factors such as the size of the system, the frequency of floor additions or removals, and the prioritization requirements. By understanding these different data structures and their characteristics, developers can make informed decisions when designing elevator systems that cater to specific needs.

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