orthogonal lists

(data structure)

Definition: Lists that share items, but are structurally independent.

Aggregate parent (I am a part of or used in ...)
sparse matrix.

Aggregate child (... is a part of or used in me.)

Note: The lists are interweaved through items. For instance, we may keep people on three orthogonal lists by hair color, gender, and country of residence or data values in a sparse matrix on two orthogonal lists by row and column. Inserting an item means inserting it into each list as appropriate.

Author: PEB

More information

A lab exercise with four attributes. PowerPoint lecture notes of using orthogonal lists to implement a sparse matrix.

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

If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please get in touch with Paul Black.

Entry modified 3 November 2010.
HTML page formatted Fri Feb 23 10:06:08 2018.

Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "orthogonal lists", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 3 November 2010. (accessed TODAY) Available from: