Data structures and algorithms are two very important concepts that are related to the processing and the arrangement of information and data on the computer system so that they can achieve their goals in a very effective way. Also, if you want to start learning how to start writing programs, no matter the type of programming language you want to use, it is important that you understand what data structure and algorithm works. A brief explanation of these concepts is given in the article below.
Data structure can be defined as the process of organising and arranging data and information to help the computer to easily carry out its functions and operations on these data in a more effective way. Data structure involves generating a relationship between these data to generate better organisation and storage of these data.
The concept of data structure is closely related to an object programming oriented concept known as ‘class.’ The class also performs the same function as it collects different type of data and stores them under a single entity. The only difference is that the data structure provides users with techniques that helps them to manage and access this information effectively.
There are two major types of data structures that are worth noting, and these two types are explained below.
This type of data structure is simplest and basic type of data structure. As explained above, anything that is capable of storing and organising data in the right manner can be referred to as data structure. And examples of the primitive data structure are float, Boolean, char etc.
Unlike the primitive data structure that is quite simple and straight forward, the abstract data structure is much more complex and is used to store larger and connected data. Examples of these types of data structures include:
a) Linked list
e) Stack, etc.
Algorithm can be defined as a set of instructions that or logic that is written in order to help the computer to accomplish or perform a specific task. Algorithm is not the code or program that the computer follow itself rather, its just the solution of a particular problem which can be easily expressed as pseudocodes or flowcharts.
All basic algorithms give the steps or processes involved in solving a particular problem and for the algorithm to be considered relevant, it must follow the following order. It's listed below:
1. Input: There should be 0 or more input supplied externally to the algorithm.
2. Output: There should be at least one output obtained from the algorithm.
3. Definiteness: The algorithm should have a finite number of steps
4. Correctness: The algorithm must be able to generate the correct result for which it was intended.
The satisfaction of these conditions validates the relevance and correctness of any algorithm written.
Data structure is a concept that is majorly concerned with the arrangement of and storing of data in an organised fashion. It is mostly concerned with how well data is kept and arrange and it does these by using different type of materials to perform this function.
Algorithm on the other hand can be described as a set of instructions that direct the computer on how to manipulate the said instructions. The instructions that have been stored and organized through the use of data structures are manipulated with algorithms.
Algorithms and data structures similar and work hand in hand. In fact, it is impossible to study or use one of these concepts without referring to the other.
Even though they have this great relationship and connection, they are still different terms and this difference has been explained above.
One of the major importance of data structure is that it relates mostly to computer scientists as they work more with these two concepts. For these computer scientists, all the activities they perform are based on three different tasks which are taking some input, processing this input and giving back a more relevant and useful output. To do this effectively, they are majorly concerned with the processing aspect of these three stages, and they make use of algorithm and data structures to make these possible.
Data structure refers to the way computers arrange their information on the computer, and as a computer scientist the proper arrangement of information have a very great impact on the activities of computer scientists especially when they are working on programs.
Also, for algorithms, they help the task or program developed to perform more effectively. If you write code based on perception and personal judgment without the use of an algorithm, the code will most likely be botched up after some time because you have not applied any predefined approach or methodology. Thus, algorithms help the codes and programs written remain relevant and effective even after a long period.
Algorithms and data structures should serve as swords with which any programmer goes about his coding business. The knowledge of these two concepts also give programmers an edge over their pairs as big companies fancy programmers with a proper knowledge of these concepts.
The concept of algorithms and data structures is of great importance to computer scientists and programmers since they deal with the writing of codes and the development of programs. These two concepts should be properly studied and understood since they make coding easier and more effective.
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