In computer science, a data structure is a particular way of organizing and storing data in a computer so that it can be accessed and modified efficiently. Some common concepts related to data structures include:
- Storage: Data structures determine how data is stored in memory or on disk.
- Access: Data structures define how data can be accessed and modified. For example, some data structures allow for fast insertion and deletion of elements, while others allow for fast searching.
- Complexity: Data structures often have different time and space complexities for different operations. For example, a linked list may have O(1) time complexity for inserting and deleting elements, but O(n) time complexity for searching.
- Abstract data types: Data structures are often implemented using abstract data types (ADTs), which are mathematical models for data types that specify the data and the operations that can be performed on them.
- Algorithms: Data structures are often used in conjunction with algorithms, which are procedures for solving specific problems. Different data structures may be better suited for different types of algorithms.