Data Structures

Data Structures:

A data structure, in computer science, is a specific way of storing and organizing data in a computer so that it may be efficiently used.

Data structures provide a means to manage vast amounts of data efficiently, such as huge databases and internet indexing services. Generally, efficient data structures are a key to designing efficient algorithms. Some programming languages and formal design methods emphasize data structures, instead of algorithms, as the key organizing factor in software design. Storing and retrieving may be carried out on data stored in main memory and in secondary memory both. Many Data Structures are available that are needed to be employed based on the need.

Data structures are normally divided into two broad categories.

1) Primitive data structures:

The integers, character data, logical data, real, pointer and reference are primitive data structures. Normally Data structures that are directly operated upon by machine-level instructions are known as primitive data structures.

2 ) Non- primitive data structures/composites structures:

These are more complicated data structures. These all data structures are derived from the primitive data structures. They stress on creation of sets of heterogeneous and homogeneous data elements. The different operations that are to be carried out on data are nothing but designing of data structures.

Typical operations on Data structures are:

  • ADD
  • NEXT
  • LAST

Common data structures:


The simplest kinds of data structure is a linear (or one dimensional) array.  Through a linear array, we mean a list of a finite number n of similar data elements referenced respectively by a set of n consecutive numbers, generally 1, 2, 3,…n. A two-dimensional array is a collection of same data elements where each element is referenced by two subscripts.


It is also called a last-in-first-out (LIFO) system, is a linear list in which items can be inserted or removed only at one end called the top of the stack.


A queue, also known as a first-in-first-out (FIFO) system, is a linear list in which deletions can take place at one end of the list only, the “front” of the list, and insertions can take place at the other end of the list only, the “rear” of the list.


A tree is an acyclic, linked graph.  A tree has no loops or cycles. The concept of tree is one of the most fundamental and useful concepts in computer science. Trees have various variations, implementations and applications. Trees contain its use in applications such like compiler construction, windows, database design, operating system programs, etc.


All of the data structures (Arrays, Stacks, Lists and Queues) except Graphs are linear data structures. Graphs are classifying in the non-linear category of data structures. A graph G can be described as a finite set V of vertices and a set E of edges (pair of connected vertices). The notation used is such as:

Graph G = (V, E)

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