Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Difference between linked list and arrays

Both linked lists and arrays are data structures used to store collections of data, but they differ in their organization and behavior.


  • An array is a fixed-size collection of elements of the same type, stored in contiguous memory locations.
  • Elements of an array are accessed using an index that starts from zero.
  • The size of an array is defined at the time of creation and cannot be changed.
  • Insertion and deletion of elements can be expensive, as it may require shifting all the elements to make room for the new element or remove an element from the middle of the array.

Linked Lists:

  • A linked list is a collection of nodes, each containing data and a pointer to the next node in the list.
  • Elements of a linked list are accessed by traversing the list, starting from the head of the list.
  • Linked lists can be dynamic in size and do not require contiguous memory locations. Nodes can be added or removed from the list without affecting the other elements.
  • Insertion and deletion of elements are more efficient in a linked list than in an array because they do not require shifting of elements. However, accessing a specific element in a linked list may be slower than accessing an element in an array, especially for larger lists.

Some key differences between arrays and linked lists are:

  • Arrays are fixed in size while linked lists can be dynamic.
  • Accessing elements in an array is faster than in a linked list, but adding or removing elements is faster in a linked list.
  • Arrays require contiguous memory locations while linked lists do not.
  • Arrays can be multi-dimensional, while linked lists are typically one-dimensional.

In general, arrays are a good choice when the size of the data set is fixed and random access to elements is required. Linked lists are a good choice when the size of the data set is dynamic and efficient insertion or deletion of elements is required.


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