Data Structure Basics
Array
Definition:
Stores data elements based on an sequential, most commonly 0 based, index.
Based on tuples from set theory.
They are one of the oldest, most commonly used data structures.
What you need to know:
Optimal for indexing; bad at searching, inserting, and deleting (except at the end).
Linear arrays, or one dimensional arrays, are the most basic.
Are static in size, meaning that they are declared with a fixed size.
Dynamic arrays are like one dimensional arrays, but have reserved space for additional elements.
If a dynamic array is full, it copies it's contents to a larger array.
Two dimensional arrays have x and y indices like a grid or nested arrays.
Big O efficiency:
Indexing: Linear array: O(1), Dynamic array: O(1)
Search: Linear array: O(n), Dynamic array: O(n)
Optimized Search: Linear array: O(log n), Dynamic array: O(log n)
Insertion: Linear array: n/a Dynamic array: O(n)
Linked List
Definition:
Stores data with nodes that point to other nodes.
Nodes, at its most basic it has one datum and one reference (another node).
A linked list chains nodes together by pointing one node's reference towards another node.
What you need to know:
Designed to optimize insertion and deletion, slow at indexing and searching.
Doubly linked list has nodes that reference the previous node.
Circularly linked list is simple linked list whose tail, the last node, references the head, the first node.
Stack, commonly implemented with linked lists but can be made from arrays too.
Stacks are last in, first out (LIFO) data structures.
Made with a linked list by having the head be the only place for insertion and removal.
Queues, too can be implemented with a linked list or an array.
Queues are a first in, first out (FIFO) data structure.
Made with a doubly linked list that only removes from head and adds to tail.
Big O efficiency:
Indexing: Linked Lists: O(n)
Search: Linked Lists: O(n)
Optimized Search: Linked Lists: O(n)
Insertion: Linked Lists: O(1)
Hash Table or Hash Map
Definition:
Stores data with key value pairs.
Hash functions accept a key and return an output unique only to that specific key.
This is known as hashing, which is the concept that an input and an output have a onetoone correspondence to map information.
Hash functions return a unique address in memory for that data.
What you need to know:
Designed to optimize searching, insertion, and deletion.
Hash collisions are when a hash function returns the same output for two distinct inputs.
All hash functions have this problem.
This is often accommodated for by having the hash tables be very large.
Hashes are important for associative arrays and database indexing.
Big O efficiency:
Indexing: Hash Tables: O(1)
Search: Hash Tables: O(1)
Insertion: Hash Tables: O(1)
Binary Tree
Definition:
Is a tree like data structure where every node has at most two children.
There is one left and right child node.
What you need to know:
Designed to optimize searching and sorting.
A degenerate tree is an unbalanced tree, which if entirely onesided is a essentially a linked list.
They are comparably simple to implement than other data structures.
Used to make binary search trees.
A binary tree that uses comparable keys to assign which direction a child is.
Left child has a key smaller than it's parent node.
Right child has a key greater than it's parent node.
There can be no duplicate node.
Because of the above it is more likely to be used as a data structure than a binary tree.
Big O efficiency:
Indexing: Binary Search Tree: O(log n)
Search: Binary Search Tree: O(log n)
Insertion: Binary Search Tree: O(log n)
Common Data Structure Operations
Data Structure  Time Complexity  >  >  >  >  Space Complexity  
Average  >  >  >  Worst  >  >  >  Worst  
Access  Search  Insertion  Deletion  Access  Search  Insertion  Deletion  








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 








 









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