Data Structures – Definition, Types, Classification and Applications

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Data Structures – Definition, Types, Classification, Applications; Video and Images/Photos. Computer Data Structures Images/Photos: 3. A photo of optic fibre cables for data and ethernet networking in computer technology. Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash

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Data Structures – Definition, Types, Classification, Applications; Video and Images/Photos

Definition, Types, Classification, Applications of Data Structures; Video and Images/Photos

Computer Data Structures Images/Photos: 3. A photo of optic fibre cables for data and ethernet networking in computer technology. Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash

Data Structures | Computer Science |  Science and Information and Communication Technology (Sci & ICT) Systems

 

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Computer Science - Data Structures. Data Structure Images/Photos: 1. An image illustration of data lines on a golden background concept. Image by Денис Марчук from Pixabay
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Computer Science – Data Structures. Data Structure Images/Photos: 1. An image illustration of data lines on a golden background concept. Image by Денис Марчук from Pixabay

 

Data structures are fundamental components of computer science and programming that enable efficient organization, storage, and retrieval of data. They define the way data is arranged in memory and how operations can be performed on that data. Data structures are essential for solving various computational problems and optimizing algorithmic performance.

Here’s an overview of data structures, their types, classification, and applications:

Definition – What is Data Structure?

  • Data structures are a way of organizing and storing data in a computer’s memory in a manner that allows for efficient access, modification, and retrieval.
  • They provide a logical structure for data, allowing programs to manage and manipulate data effectively.

 

Types of Data Structures

Data structures can be broadly categorized into two main types:

  • Primitive Data Structures: These are basic data types provided by the programming language itself, such as integers, floating-point numbers, characters, and booleans. They are not considered complex data structures and are used to build more advanced data structures.
  • Non-Primitive Data Structures (Composite Data Structures): These are more complex data structures that are composed of multiple primitive or other composite data types. They include:
    • Arrays
    • Linked Lists
    • Stacks
    • Queues
    • Trees (e.g., binary trees, AVL trees)
    • Graphs (e.g., adjacency matrices, adjacency lists)
    • Hash Tables
    • Heaps (e.g., binary heaps, Fibonacci heaps)
  1. Arrays: Arrays are linear data structures that store a fixed-size collection of elements, accessed by their index, and offer constant-time access but require contiguous memory allocation.
  2. Linked Lists: Linked lists are linear data structures where each element (node) points to the next one, allowing for dynamic memory allocation and efficient insertions/deletions but slower random access.
  3. Stacks: Stacks are linear data structures that follow the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle, commonly used for managing function calls or undo operations.
  4. Queues: Queues are linear data structures that follow the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle, often used for tasks like managing tasks in a print queue or process scheduling.
  5. Trees: Trees are hierarchical data structures that consist of nodes with parent-child relationships, with various types like binary trees and AVL trees, used for efficient searching, sorting, and hierarchical representation.
  6. Graphs: Graphs are non-linear data structures that consist of nodes connected by edges, with various representations like adjacency matrices and adjacency lists, used to model relationships and solve problems in network theory, routing, and social networks.
  7. Hash Tables: Hash tables are data structures that use a hash function to map keys to values, offering efficient key-value pair retrieval, insertion, and deletion operations.
  8. Heaps: Heaps are tree-based data structures like binary heaps and Fibonacci heaps, used for priority queue operations and efficient element extraction based on priorities.

 

Classification of Data Structures

Data structures can also be classified based on various criteria, such as:

  • Linear Data Structures: Elements are arranged sequentially, with each element connected to the previous and next element. Examples include arrays, linked lists, stacks, and queues.
  • Non-Linear Data Structures: Elements are not arranged sequentially. Examples include trees and graphs.
  • Homogeneous Data Structures: All elements are of the same data type (e.g., arrays).
  • Heterogeneous Data Structures: Elements can be of different data types (e.g., structures in C/C++ or records in databases).
  • Static Data Structures: Size is fixed and does not change during runtime (e.g., static arrays).
  • Dynamic Data Structures: Size can change dynamically during runtime (e.g., dynamic arrays or linked lists).

 

Applications of Data Structures

Data structures are essential in various computer science applications:

  • Databases: Data structures like B-trees and hash tables are used for efficient data retrieval and storage in databases.
  • Algorithms: Many algorithms heavily rely on data structures to optimize their performance. For example, sorting algorithms use arrays or linked lists.
  • Operating Systems: Data structures are used in file systems, memory management, and process scheduling.
  • Graphics: In computer graphics, data structures like graphs are used to represent scenes and relationships between objects.
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI applications often use trees, graphs, and matrices to represent knowledge and make decisions.
  • Game Development: Data structures are used to represent game state, levels, and player information.

Understanding the different types and uses of data structures is crucial for writing efficient and effective software programs and algorithms. The choice of data structure depends on the specific requirements of the problem being solved and the trade-offs between factors like memory usage and execution speed.

 

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This blog post titled: ”Data Structures in Computer Science – What is? Types, Classifications and Applications; Videos and Images/Photos’‘ is categorised under the theme Computer Science in Science and Information and Communication Technology (Sci & ICT) Systems.

Our blog post on ‘Computer Science Concept’ of Science and Information and Communication Technology (Sci & ICT) Systems are crucial for readers as they provide a window into the latest scientific advancements and digital innovations, empowering them to make informed decisions and stay relevant in our rapidly changing world.

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