Introduction to Data Structures

What is Data Structures?

A data structure is a way of organizing data so that it can be used effectively. The ways includes different fashions so that it is easily accessed, added, updated, edited quickly and easily.

Why Data Structures?

They are essential ingredients in creating fast and powerful algorithms. They help to manage and organize data. They make code cleaner and easier to understand.

Once if any programmer understands when and which data structure should be used, he can make an outstanding software or system.

Abstract Data Types vs. Data Structures

An abstract data type is an abstraction of a data structure which provides only the interface to which a data structure must adhere to.

The interface does not give any specific details about how something should be implemented or in what programming language.

Examples: Lists, Stack, Queues, Trees, Maps, etc.

Importance of Data Structures:

As applications are getting complex and data rich, there are common problems that applications face now-a-days. To solve these problems, we need Data Structures.

  • Data Search: Searching is easy if it has very fewer data. But once data grows larger, searching is also heavy task.
  • Processor speed: Processor speed although being very high, falls limited if the data grows to billion records.
  • Multiple requests: As thousands of users can search data simultaneously on a web server, even the fast server fails while searching the data.
  • Correctness: Data structure implementation should implement its interface correctly.
  • Time Complexity: Running time or the execution time of operations of data structure must be as small as possible.
  • Space Complexity: Memory usage of a data structure operation should be as little as possible.

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