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Application of Data Structures

30 Mar 2023
Last updated on: April 26, 2023
Real-time application of Data Structures
                                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS 

What is data structure? Simply put, they are essential in today's computer science world. It refers to the format comprising an assortment of data values, relationships, and functions applied to data.

Data structures can arrange data such that it gets accessed & worked on with specified algorithms. Want to learn the real-time application of data structures? This post comes in handy. Discover the data structures and applications.

Data Structures and Their Classification

In the universe of computer science, data structures are used for arranging data in memory. They are essential in organizing, accessing, processing, and storing data. Besides, different types of data structures have their characteristics, data structures, applications, features, pros, and cons.

Real-time application of Data Structures
They have various uses in our daily life. Some of them are used for solving mathematical problems. Implementing their use can assist in organizing and processing a large amount of data in a short span. Here's a rundown of each type and application of data structures in the following pointers:

  • Linear Data Structure

A linear data structure is where data elements are arranged linearly or sequentially. Note that each element will remain attached to the next and previous adjacent elements. The best examples of the linear data structure are stack, array, linked list, queue, and more.

A static data structure comprises different fixed memory sizes. And it is quite easier to access elements in this type of structure. The best example of this data structure is the array.

On the other hand, dynamic data structure does not include a fixed size. It might be updated randomly during any runtime that may be effective considering the memory complexity of that code. The best examples of this type are stack and queue.

  • Non-Linear Data Structure

Non-linear data structures are where data elements do not remain placed linearly or sequentially. One cannot traverse each element in a single run in such a data structure. Take graphs and trees as perfect examples of non-linear data structure.

Here are the types alongside each application of data structures.

Application of Data Structures

1. Arrays

An array is a linear data structure – an assortment of specific things stored at memory locations. The purpose is to store different items of similar types together. Doing so allows the processing of a greater amount of data in a short time span.

Array's first element is indexed by the subscript of 0. Various operations can be possible here: sorting in data structures, searching, traversing, inserting, deleting, and reversing.

Application of Arrays

An array gets used for storing data for mathematical computations. Besides, it helps in image processing, record management, and ordering boxes. Besides, book pages are also examples of the application of data structures arrays.

2. Strings

Strings are referred to as the array of characters. The difference between a string and a character array is that the former is terminated with the character '\0'. Learn the application of data structures.

Application of Strings

Want to learn about the application of data structures, particularly strings? They are used for spam email detection, plagiarism detection, digital forensics, search engine, information retrieval system, and spell checkers. They also help in checking the valid information of any user. Their applications can be seen in different IoT project ideas.

3. Linked Lists

A linked list is the sequence data structure connecting elements (nodes) via links. This linear data structure is not stored at any contiguous memory location. Elements in the linked list are linked via pointers. Given below are the different types of linked lists:
Doubly linked
Doubly circular

Discover the application of data structures below.

Application of Linked Lists

They can implement stacks, graphs, and queues. Besides, they are used to perform arithmetic operations on longer integers. Representation of sparse matrices can also be done using linked lists.
Real-time application of Data Structures
Besides, they assist in memory management, displaying image containers, storing visited pages' history, performing any undo operation, etc. They indicate a tag's correct syntax in any software development. In addition, they can display social media feeds too.

4. Stack

A stack in data structures is the data structure using LIFO order. This linear data structure follows a specific order where operations are pre-formed. Multiple applications of the stack are there; applications of data structures are below.

Application of Stack

Want to learn the application of data structures? A perfect application of data structures stacks is the layer of dishes arranged one on top of the other. One needs to remove all the dishes if one wants the topmost dish to be placed right at the bottom.

Besides, browsers also use stack data structures that monitor previously visited sites. Did you know that smartphone call logs also use the stack data structure?

5. Queue

A linear data structure – a queue follows a specific order where certain operations are performed. The order is FIFO or First in, First Out. Here, the first-stored data items will be accessed in the first place. Entering & retrieving data isn't done from just one end. Discover the application of data structures as mentioned below.

Application of Queue

From handling website traffic to maintaining a playlist, each application of data structure in is unique. They also get used in operating systems for handling interrupts. Besides, they also serve requests on a single shared resource.

Take the example of CPU task scheduling, printer, and more. A real-world example of queues is a single-lane one-way road. Another application of data structures for a queue is seen in queues at ticket windows.

6. Graph

It's the non-linear data structure that has vertices (or nodes) & edges. It consists of a finite set of vertices and a set of edges that connect a pair of nodes. The graph is used to solve the most challenging and complex programming problems.

It has different terminologies: Path, Degree, Adjacent vertices, Connected components, etc. Know more about the application of data structure.

Application of Graph

The best data structure applications of a graph are seen in modelling graphs. Besides, they get used to represent the computation flow. The operating system also uses a Resource Allocation Graph. They are used in the World Wide Web (where web pages represent specific nodes). They are used in Facebook's Graph API and other social networking sites.

7. Tree

A tree is a data structure representing the hierarchical relationship between the data elements known as nodes. Its top node is known as the root, while elements below the roots are child nodes. Every child node has one or more nodes, forming branching structures.

Nodes at the tree's bottom that don't comprise child nodes are leaf nodes. In the world of computer science, each application of data structures for the tree is unique. Given below is the application of data structure.

Application of Tree

Want to know about the application of data structures for tree? Decision-based algorithms are used in ML or machine learning that works upon the algorithm of the tree.

Want to learn how ML is different from AI? Read Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning program.

Besides, the applications of data structures include indexing. DNS or domain name servers use tree structures too. They are used for posting questions on different websites such as Quora. Other uses include evaluating an expression, storing possible moves in the chess game, storing Java objects, and more.


So, this post concludes after evaluating the different applications of data structures. The ones mentioned above are the widely popular and used data structures. However, other types of data structures are used in Computer Science, like policy-based data structures.

But irrespective of which structures you select, each has pros and cons. So, you first need to comprehend the need of a certain situation and then decide on the application of data structures considering the type.


What do you mean by data structures?

Data structures group data in a specialised format to analyse, organise, store & retrieve information from any system. A specified method is used for handling data. The foundation of each software system, program, and application is made of two significant elements: data and algorithms.

Note that algorithms are the instructions and rules that transform data so that it can be useful for programming. Data structures are nothing but the difference between a mediocre product and something exceptional.

What are the real-life applications of data structures?

Data structures include linked lists of memory allocation in addition to filing directory management. Besides, they assist in filing structure trees and processing scheduled queues. All in all, they allow core operating systems, functions, and resources.

Which of the data structures is used in real time?

As per the applications of data structures, the array is the widely used and popular one. An array is the most popular and simplest used data structure. Other structures, such as queues and stacks, are derived from arrays. They are also popular in the application of data structures

Why is data structure important in real life?

Data structures simplify the process of access and working with the data they require in appropriate ways. The best applications include ordering boxes, image processing, record management, and more.

What is the difference between linear and non-linear data structures?

Data elements are connected sequentially in a linear data structure. Here, every element is traversable via a single run. But in a non-linear data structure, data elements are connected hierarchically. They are present at different levels.

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