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What are Data Structures? List out the areas in which data structures are applied extensively?

What are Data Structures?

– The data structures prove to be a useful way when it comes to the storage and organization of data in the field of computers.
– This way of storing the data makes sure that it is used efficiently.
– Different kinds of applications make use of different kinds of data structures as per the needs of their program structure and organization.
– There are certain data structures which are highly specialized so as to perform highly specialized tasks such as the Binary trees which are used for the implementation of the data bases and hash tables which are used for the compilation of the implementations to look up the identifiers.
– Also, data structures provide you a way for the efficient management of the huge volumes of data involved in the internet indexing services, large data bases and so on.
– Use of efficient data structures lead to the designing of the efficient programming algorithms.
– There are certain programming languages and formal design methods that lay an emphasis up on the data structures rather than considering the algorithms as the key of organization in many software designs.
– To say, the data structures are typically rely on the ability of the computer system for fetching as well storing the data at any location in its memory with the help of an address.
– Here, address can be defined as a bit string which is also stored in the memory and manipulated by the program.
– Therefore, the array data structures and records are based up on the addresses of the data items consisting of arithmetic operations.
– The linked data structures rely up on the stored addresses of the data items within itself.

Why it is important to know about the data structures?

– This is so because languages such as C and C++ have become the main development language for both the workstations operating on UNIX as well as the personal computers.
– The ANSI C standard was adopted in the year of 1983 and was attempted at strengthening the programming language by means of allowing several features that were not allowed in the earlier versions of the languages.
– Most of these features were intended at improving the reliability as well as the readability of the programs.
– The field of the data structures has continuously been evolving and has significantly matured over the time.
– Many new useful data structures have been devised with the introduction of the new complexity measures.
– The basic requirement of the data structures is there where the structured programming is followed.

Application areas of Data Structures

The following are the basic application areas of the data structures.
1. Priority queue structures: It consists of heaps and applications. Here the elements are stored in a list based up on the comparison of the key field. Using the priority queues, elements can be sorted out according to their key field. Some of the queue operations are:
a) create()
b) find_min()
c) insert()
d) delete()
e) change()
f) union()
g) search()
The following things need to be considered while implementing a priority queue:
a) degree of complication
b) required speed
c) storage of the extra data

2. Cumulative sum data structures based up on intervals
3. Augmentation of the data structures with some extra information for solving the questions:
In some cases, it turns out to be useful to change the data structure in one or the other way i.e., either by changing what it represents or by adding some new data to it. This actually makes the same data structure easy to be used for solving many problems. An example of such data structures are the interval trees which can also be used for solving the cumulative sum problems. There are other important data structures such as:
– Suffix trees
– Fibonacci heaps
– Binary trees: There are two types:
a) balanced and
b) unbalanced
The trees can be further divided into following:
a) splay trees
b) 2-3-4 trees
c) red black trees

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