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Real-time application of Data Structures

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 25 Jan, 2021

A data structure is a particular way of organizing data in a computer so that it can be used effectively. In this article, the real-time applications of all the data structures are discussed. 

Application of Arrays:

Arrays are the simplest data structures that stores items of the same data type. A basic application of Arrays can be storing data in tabular format. For example, if we wish to store the contacts on our phone, then the software will simply place all our contacts in an array. 

Some other applications of the arrays are: 

  1. Arrangement of leader-board of a game can be done simply through arrays to store the score and arrange them in descending order to clearly make out the rank of each player in the game.
  2. A simple question Paper is an array of numbered questions with each of them assigned to some marks.
  3. 2D arrays, commonly known as, matrix, are used in image processing.
  4. It is also used in speech processing, in which each speech signal is an array. 

Application of Linked Lists:

A linked list is a sequence data structure, which connects elements, called nodes, through links.  

Some other applications of the linked list are:  

  1. Images are linked with each other. So, an image viewer software uses a linked list to view the previous and the next images using the previous and next buttons.
  2. Web pages can be accessed using the previous and the next URL links which are linked using linked list.
  3. The music players also use the same technique to switch between music.
  4. To keep the track of turns in a multi player game, a circular linked list is used. 

Application of Stack:

A stack is a data structure which uses LIFO order.  

Some Applications of a stack are: 

  1. Converting infix to postfix expressions.
  2. Undo operation is also carried out through stacks.
  3. Syntaxes in languages are parsed using stacks.
  4. It is used in many virtual machines like JVM.
  5. Forward – backward surfing in browser
  6. History of visited websites
  7. Message logs and all messages you get are arranged in stack
  8. Call logs, E-mails, Google photos’ any gallery , YouTube downloads, Notifications ( latest appears first )
  9. Scratch card’s earned after Google pay transaction

Application of Queue:

A queue is a data structure that uses FIFO order.  

Some applications of a queue are: 

  1. Operating System uses queue for job scheduling.
  2. To handle congestion in networking queue can be used.
  3. Data packets in communication are arranged in queue format.
  4. Sending an E-mail, it will be queued
  5. server while responding request
  6. Uploading and downloading photo’s, first kept for uploading/downloading will completed first (Not if there is threading)
  7. Most of internet requests and processes uses queue
  8. While switching multiple applications, windows uses circular queue.

Application of Graph:

Graph is a data structure where data is stored in a collection of interconnected vertices (nodes) and edges (paths). 

Some applications of a graph are:  

  1. Facebook’s Graph API uses the structure of Graphs.
  2. Google’s Knowledge Graph also has to do something with Graph.
  3. Dijkstra algorithm or the shortest path first algorithm also uses graph structure to finding the smallest path between the nodes of the graph.
  4. GPS navigation system also uses shortest path APIs.
  5. Networking components has huge application of graph
  6. Facebook, Instagram and all social media networking sites every user is Node
  7. Data organization

Application of Tree:

Trees are hierarchical structures having a single root node.  

Some applications of the trees are: 

  1. XML Parser uses tree algorithms.
  2. Decision-based algorithm is used in machine learning which works upon the algorithm of tree.
  3. Databases also uses tree data structures for indexing.
  4. Domain Name Server(DNS) also uses tree structures.
  5. File explorer/my computer of mobile/any computer
  6. BST used in computer Graphics
  7. Posting questions on websites like Quora, the comments are child of questions 

Application of Hash Tables:

Hash Tables are store data in key-value pairs. It only stores data which has a key associated with it. Inserting and Searching operations are easily manageable while using Hash Tables. 


Some applications of a hashtable are:  

  1. Data stored in databases is generally of the key-value format which is done through hash tables.
  2. Every time we type something to be searched in google chrome or other browsers, it generates the desired output based on the principle of hashing.
  3. Message Digest, a function of cryptography also uses hashing for creating output in such a manner that reaching to the original input from that generated output is almost next to impossible.
  4. In our computers we have various files stored in it, each file has two very crucial information that is, filename and file path, in order to make a connection between the filename to its corresponding file path hash tables are used. 

Application of Heap:

A Heap is a special case of a binary tree where the parent nodes are compared to their children with their values and are arranged accordingly.  

Some applications of heaps are:  

  1. In heapsort Algorithm, which is an algorithm for sorting elements in either min heap(the key of the parent is less than or equal to those of its children) or max heap(the key of the parent is greater than or equal to those of its children), sorting is done with the creation of heaps.
  2. Heaps are used to implement a priority queue where priority is based on the order of heap created.
  3. Systems concerned with security and embedded system such as Linux Kernel uses Heap Sort because of the O( n log(n) ).
  4. If we are stuck in finding the Kthsmallest (or largest) value of a number then heaps can solve the problem in an easy and fast manner.

Application of Matrix:

Matrix is an ordered collection of columns and rows of elements. It is necessary to enclose the elements of a matrix within the brackets. 

Some applications of a matrix are: 

  1. In geology, matrices are used for making seismic surveys.
  2. Used for plotting graphs, statistics and also to do scientific studies and research in almost different fields.
  3. Matrices are also used in representing the real-world data’s like the population of people, infant mortality rate, etc.
  4. They are best representation methods for plotting surveys. 

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