data structure


Definition: An organization of information, usually in memory, for better algorithm efficiency, such as queue, stack, linked list, heap, dictionary, and tree, or conceptual unity, such as the name and address of a person. It may include redundant information, such as length of the list or number of nodes in a subtree.

Specialization (... is a kind of me.)
external memory data structure, passive data structure, active data structure, persistent data structure, recursive data structure.

See also abstract data type.

Note: Most data structures have associated algorithms to perform operations, such as search, insert, or balance, that maintain the properties of the data structure.

Author: PEB

Go to the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures home page.

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Entry modified 15 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "data structure", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 15 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: