# Which Data Structure Is Used to Implement DFS?

//

Scott Campbell

When it comes to implementing Depth First Search (DFS) algorithm, there are several data structures that can be used. Each data structure has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose the right one based on the requirements of your application. In this article, we will explore some of the commonly used data structures for implementing DFS.

## Stack

The most common data structure used to implement DFS is a stack. A stack follows the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle, which makes it a suitable choice for tracking nodes in a depth-first manner.

To implement DFS using a stack, we start by pushing the initial node onto the stack. Then, while the stack is not empty, we pop a node from the top of the stack and process it.

For each adjacent unvisited node, we push it onto the stack. This process continues until there are no more unvisited nodes or until we reach our desired goal.

Here is an example implementation of DFS using a stack:

``````
function dfsUsingStack(startNode) {
let stack = [];
let visited = new Set();

stack.push(startNode);

while (stack.length !== 0) {
let currentNode = stack.pop();

// Process currentNode

for (let neighbor of currentNode.neighbors) {
if (!visited.has(neighbor)) {
stack.push(neighbor);
}
}
}
}
```
```

## Recursion

Another common way to implement DFS is through recursion. In this approach, we define a recursive function that explores nodes in a depth-first manner.

To implement DFS using recursion, we start by calling our recursive function with the initial node as an argument. Inside the function, we mark the current node as visited and process it. Then, for each unvisited neighbor of the current node, we recursively call the function.

Here is an example implementation of DFS using recursion:

``````
function dfsUsingRecursion(currentNode, visited) {

// Process currentNode

for (let neighbor of currentNode.neighbors) {
if (!visited.has(neighbor)) {
dfsUsingRecursion(neighbor, visited);
}
}
}

function dfs(startNode) {
let visited = new Set();
dfsUsingRecursion(startNode, visited);
}
```
```

## Conclusion

Depth First Search (DFS) is a versatile algorithm used for traversing or searching graphs. The choice of data structure for implementing DFS depends on various factors such as the size of the graph, memory constraints, and performance requirements.

In this article, we explored two commonly used data structures for implementing DFS: stack and recursion. Both approaches have their own advantages and considerations.

The stack-based approach is generally more memory-efficient since it does not require additional function call overhead. On the other hand, the recursive approach provides a more concise and intuitive implementation.

Ultimately, the choice between these data structures depends on your specific use case and personal preference. Experimenting with both approaches can help you gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.