Which Data Structure Uses LIFO?


Heather Bennett

When it comes to data structures, there are various types that have different characteristics and uses. One common type of data structure is the LIFO (Last-In, First-Out) structure. In this article, we will explore which data structure uses the LIFO principle and how it is implemented.

The Stack Data Structure

The data structure that uses the LIFO principle is called a stack. A stack is an abstract data type that represents a collection of elements with two main operations: push and pop.

Push adds an element to the top of the stack, while pop removes and returns the topmost element from the stack. This means that the last element pushed into the stack is the first one to be popped out.

Implementation of a Stack

A stack can be implemented using various programming languages, including C++, Java, and Python. Let’s take a look at a simple implementation using Python:

class Stack:
    def __init__(self):
        self.stack = []

    def push(self, element):

    def pop(self):
        if not self.is_empty():
            return self.pop()
            return "Stack is empty."

    def is_empty(self):
        return len(self.stack) == 0

    def size(self):
        return len(self.stack)

Usage Example:

stack = Stack()

print(stack.pop())  # Output: 30
print(stack.pop())  # Output: 20
print(stack.pop())  # Output: 10
print(stack.pop())  # Output: Stack is empty.

Applications of a Stack

The LIFO behavior of a stack makes it suitable for solving various problems. Here are some common applications of a stack:

  • Expression evaluation and syntax parsing.
  • Reversing the order of elements.
  • Implementing undo and redo operations.
  • Function call stack in programming languages.

By using the stack data structure, you can efficiently solve problems that require handling elements in a last-in, first-out manner.


In summary, the data structure that uses the LIFO principle is called a stack. It allows you to add elements to the top and remove elements from the top, following the last-in, first-out order.

Stacks have various applications in computer science and can be implemented using different programming languages. Understanding stacks is essential for solving problems efficiently and optimizing your code.

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