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Nonlinear Data
Structures
created on 29/10/2008
yahaya.wordpress.com
1
Nonlinear Data Structures
• In the first lesson of this section, we discussed the problem of
representing relationships between employees at the XYZ company.
Since these relationships are not linear, we could not adequately
show the relationships using a linear data structure like a list or a
stack. Instead, we needed something that looks more like a tree.
created on 29/10/2008
yahaya.wordpress.com
2
Nonlinear Data Structures
• A tree is just one example of a nonlinear data structure. Two other
examples are multidimensional arrays and graphs. In the next few
lessons, we will examine these data structures to see how they are
represented using the computer's linear memory. Remember that in
the last lesson we saw that we could create a logical representation
of a circular queue. Although the actual memory locations were just
an array (a group of linear memory cells), we made them seem to be
circular by wrapping our pointers around to the front of the array
each time they reached the end. This example demonstrated that
there are two ways of representing our data structure. The logical
representation was a circle or a loop, while the physical
representation was a simple linear array.
• For each of the data structures we examine, we will look at a simple
implementation for the data structure to see how it can be
represented in physical memory. Then we will compare this physical
representation with the logical representation of the data structure
created on 29/10/2008
yahaya.wordpress.com
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