A data structure is a specialized format for organizing and storing data.
Data structure is designed to organize data to suit a specific purpose so that it can be accessed and worked with in appropriate ways.
Also we can say Data structure is a particular way of storing and organizing information in a computer so that it can be retrieved and used most productively.
Data structures can implement one or more particular abstract data types (ADT), which specify the operations that can be performed on a data structure and the computational complexity of those operations. In comparison, a data structure is a concrete implementation of the specification provided by an ADT.
Data structures can be used to organize the storage and retrieval of information stored in both main memory and insecondary memory.
Data structures provide a means to manage large amounts of data efficiently for uses such as large databases and internet indexing services. Usually, efficient data structures are key to designing efficient algorithms.
Data structures are generally based on the ability of a computer to fetch and store data at any place in its memory, specified by a pointer—a bit string, representing a memory address, that can be itself stored in memory and manipulated by the program. Thus, the array and record data structures are based on computing the addresses of data items with arithmetic operations; while the linked data structures are based on storing addresses of data items within the structure itself. Many data structures use both principles, sometimes combined in non-trivial ways (as in XOR linking).
Data Types in Data Structure:
General data structure Course types include the array, the file, the record, the table, the tree, and so on. Any data structure is designed to organize data to suit a specific purpose so that it can be accessed and worked with in appropriate ways. In computer programming, a data structure may be selected or designed to store data for the purpose of working on it with various algorithms.
Different kinds of data structures are meant for different kinds of applications, and some are highly specialized to specific tasks.
Data structures are important for the following reasons:
- Data structures are used in almost every program or software system.
- Specific data structures are essential ingredients of many efficient algorithms, and make possible the management of huge amounts of data, such as large integrated collection of databases.
- Some programming languages emphasize data structures, rather than algorithms, as the key organizing factor in software design.
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