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Encyclopedia > Data structure
A binary tree, a simple type of branching linked data structure.
A binary tree, a simple type of branching linked data structure.

In computer science, a data structure is a way of storing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently. Often a carefully chosen data structure will allow a more efficient algorithm to be used. The choice of the data structure often begins from the choice of an abstract data structure. A well-designed data structure allows a variety of critical operations to be performed, using as few resources, both execution time and memory space, as possible. Data structures are implemented using the data types, references and operations on them provided by a programming language. Image File history File links Binary_tree. ... Image File history File links Binary_tree. ... In computer science, a binary tree is a tree data structure in which each node has at most two children. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... In general, data consist of propositions that reflect reality. ... In computer science, efficiency is used to describe several desirable properties of an algorithm or other construct, besides clean design, functionality, etc. ... In mathematics and computing, an algorithm is a procedure (a finite set of well-defined instructions) for accomplishing some task which, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state. ... In theoretical computer science, an abstract data structure is an abstract storage for data defined in terms of the set of operations to be performed on data and computational complexity for performing these operations, regardless the implementation in a concrete data structure. ... A data type is a constraint placed upon the interpretation of data in a type system in computer programming. ... This article discusses a general notion of reference in computing. ... A programming language is an artificial language that can be used to control the behavior of a machine, particularly a computer. ...


Different kinds of data structures are suited to different kinds of applications, and some are highly specialized to certain tasks. For example, B-trees are particularly well-suited for implementation of databases, while routing tables rely on networks of machines to function. B-trees are tree data structures that are most commonly found in databases and filesystem implementations. ... This article describes routing in computer networks, a method of finding paths from origins to destinations, along which information can be passed. ...


In the design of many types of programs, the choice of data structures is a primary design consideration, as experience in building large systems has shown that the difficulty of implementation and the quality and performance of the final result depends heavily on choosing the best data structure. After the data structures are chosen, the algorithms to be used often become relatively obvious. Sometimes things work in the opposite direction - data structures are chosen because certain key tasks have algorithms that work best with particular data structures. In either case, the choice of appropriate data structures is crucial. In mathematics and computing, an algorithm is a procedure (a finite set of well-defined instructions) for accomplishing some task which, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state. ...


This insight has given rise to many formalised design methods and programming languages in which data structures, rather than algorithms, are the key organising factor. Most languages feature some sort of module system, allowing data structures to be safely reused in different applications by hiding their verified implementation details behind controlled interfaces. Object-oriented programming languages such as C++ and Java in particular use classes for this purpose. A programming language is an artificial language that can be used to control the behavior of a machine, particularly a computer. ... Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a computer programming paradigm in which a software system is modeled as a set of objects that interact with each other. ... C++ (generally pronounced ) is a general-purpose, high-level programming language with low-level facilities. ... Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ...


Since data structures are so crucial to professional programs, many of them enjoy extensive support in standard libraries of modern programming languages and environments, such as C++'s Standard Template Library, the Java API, and the Microsoft .NET Framework. The Standard Template Library (STL) is a software library included in the C++ Standard Library. ... Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... The Microsoft . ...


The fundamental building blocks of most data structures are arrays, records, discriminated unions, and references. For example, the nullable reference, a reference which can be null, is a combination of references and discriminated unions, and the simplest linked data structure, the linked list, is built from records and nullable references. In computer programming, a group of homogeneous elements of a specific data type is known as an array, one of the simplest data structures. ... This article is about the data structure. ... In computer science, a tagged union, also called a variant, variant record, discriminated union, or disjoint union, is a data structure used to hold a value that could take on several different, but fixed types. ... This article discusses a general notion of reference in computing. ... In computer science, a linked list is one of the fundamental data structures used in computer programming. ...


There is some debate about whether data structures represent implementations or interfaces. How they are seen may be a matter of perspective. A data structure can be viewed as an interface between two functions or as an implementation of methods to access storage that is organized according to the associated data type. Look up Implementation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An interface defines the communication boundary between separate computer components. ... In computer science, a datatype or data type (often simply a type) is a name or label for a set of values and some operations which one can perform on that set of values. ...


Common data structures

main article: List of data structures

This is a list of data structures. ... Simple representation of a stack In computer science, a stack is a temporary abstract data type and data structure based on the principle of Last In First Out (LIFO). ... In providing services in computer science, transport, and operations research a queue (pronounced kyew) is a buffer where various entities such as data, objects, persons, or events are stored and waiting to be processed. ... In computer science, a linked list is one of the fundamental data structures used in computer programming. ... In computer science, a tree is a widely-used computer data structure that emulates a tree structure with a set of linked nodes. ...

See also

This is a list of data structures. ... In computing, a persistent data structure is a data structure which always preserves the previous version of itself when it is modified; such data structures are effectively immutable, as their operations do not (visibly) update the structure in-place, but instead always yield a new updated structure. ... Unstructured data refers to masses of (usually) computerized information which do not have a data structure which is easily readable by a machine. ... Dynamization is a term that is used in computer science to refer to the process of transforming a static data structure into a dynamic one. ...

External links

  • Descriptions from the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures
  • http://www.cse.unr.edu/~bebis/CS308/
  • data structure course notes
  • Bruno R. Preiss, Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in C++, Java, C#, Python, Ruby

  Results from FactBites:
 
Data Structure Sample Questions (303 words)
A data structure is a way of storing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently.
Different kinds of data structures are suited to different kinds of applications.
Answer: A data structure is a way of organizing data that considers not only the items stored, but also their relationship to each other.
UDDI V2.03 Data Structure Specification (3845 words)
Data structures are described by substructure breakdowns in tables of the following form.
If the businessService data is rendered into XML and has no containing parent that has within its data a businessKey, the value of the businessKey that is the parent of the businessService is required to be provided.
If the bindingTemplate data is rendered into XML and has no containing parent that has within its data a serviceKey, the value of the serviceKey that is the ultimate containing parent of the bindingTemplate is required to be provided.
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