High-level data structures are methods of storing and organizing data so that it can be easily modified, navigated, and accessed. Data structures define how data is collected, the functions we can use to access it, and relationships between data.
Data structures are used in almost every area of computer science and programming, from operating systems to simple vanilla code to artificial intelligence.
Data structures enable us to:
• Manage and utilize large datasets
• Search for particular data from a database
• Design algorithms that are tailored towards particular programs
• Handle multiple requests from users at once
• Simplify and speed up data processing
Data structures are essential for efficient problem solving in the real world. Finally, how we organize data has a huge impact on performance and usability. In fact, most top companies require a strong understanding of data structures.
The most basic array of all data structures stores data in memory for later use. Each array has a fixed number of cells that are determined at creation time, and each cell has a corresponding numeric index used to select the data. Whenever you use an array, you only need the index you want, and you can access any data in it.
Queues are conceptually similar to stacks; both are sequential structures, but queues process items in the order they were entered, not the order they were last entered.
Therefore, queues can be configured as a FIFO (First In, First Out) are viewed from stacks. These are useful as buffers for requests, storing each request in the order it was received until it can be processed.
Linked lists are a data structure that, unlike the previous three, does not use physical placement of data in memory. This means that linked lists use a referencing system instead of indices or positions: elements are stored in nodes containing a pointer to the next node, which is repeated until all nodes are linked.
This system enables items to be loaded and unloaded efficiently without reorganization.
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