## Unlocking Real-world Applications of Data Structures and Algorithm

Data structures are essential tools in computer science for organizing, managing, and processing data. They have diverse types, features, and advantages, and they play a crucial role in various aspects of our lives. From solving mathematical problems to efficiently handling large datasets, data structures enable quick data organization and processing. They are integral to developing optimized and machine-efficient computer programs, along with algorithms. Major companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple prioritize data structures and algorithms in their technical interviews, making them vital skills for future job seekers. Regular practice of data structures and algorithms improves problem-solving abilities and helps write clear, accurate, and highly efficient code. DSA forms the foundation of the development application process, transcending programming language boundaries. Regardless of language evolution or obsolescence, DSA remains universally implemented.

## Simple Linear Data Structure

Data elements are ordered linearly or sequentially in a linear data structure. Keep in mind that every piece will continue to be connected to its neighbouring elements. Stack, array, linked list, queue, and other linear data structure types are some of the greatest illustrations.

## Numerical Data Structure

Data elements are not always arranged sequentially or linearly in non-linear data structures. In this data structure, one can not navigate each component in a single run. As ideal instances of non-linear data structures, consider graphs and trees.

## Arrays

Here are some succinct examples of real-world array applications:
Arrays can be used in a wide range of real-world situations. Here are a couple of instances that illustrate their importance:

• To-Do Lists: To-do lists are frequently created and managed using arrays. Task addition, deletion, and retrieval are made simple by the ability to store every single thing on the list as a component in the array. This straightforward application illustrates the adaptability and effectiveness of arrays in data organization and manipulation.
• Temperature Monitoring: Arrays are used in weather surveillance systems to store
temperature information from various places or periods of time. It is simple to analyze the data, compute averages, find patterns, and provide visualizations for predictions or climate studies when you use an array.
• Student Grades: In educational institutions, student grades are stored and managed using arrays. The ability to keep each student’s grades for each topic in an array makes it simple to compute averages, identify top performers, and pinpoint problem areas.
• Music Playlist: To maintain playlists, several music streaming services use arrays. The music can be kept as components in an array, allowing for functionality like playlist shuffle, repeat, skip, and rearrangement. Arrays make it easy to access the music, enabling lag-
free playing and interaction between users.

## Stacks

Stacks can be used in a variety of real-world contexts. Following are a few instances that illustrate
their importance:

• Web Browser History: For implementing the “back” button functionality, web browsers use stacks. Users can go via their browsing history by moving each visited website up a stack. An easy way to return to previously seen pages is to click the “back” button, which pops the most recent webpage from the stack.
• Function Call Stack: In programming languages, stacks are essential for controlling function calls. Parameters and return addresses are pushed onto the stack when a function’s call is called, together with the execution context for that function. This stack-based method makes it possible to make stacked callbacks to functions and guarantees that the program can continue from where it left off after a function call.
• Undo/Redo Operations: Applications that provide undo/redo operations frequently make use of stacks. Users may gradually undo their modifications since every action they take is added to the undo stack. It is possible to undo previously undone activities by using the “undo” command, which pops the most recent action from the undo stack and pushes it into the redo stack.

## Queues

There are several real-world uses for queues across many industries. Following are a few instances that illustrate their importance:

• Supermarket Checkout: To handle the payment process, queues are frequently used in supermarkets. Customers queue up, and the first individual who joins the queue gets served first. By ensuring fairness and upholding order during the checkout process, this eases traffic and creates a well-organized flow of customers.
• Ticketing Systems: Queues are used in ticketing systems to facilitate purchasing tickets for events, transit, or customer service. Customers queue to buy tickets or for help, and they receive their food in the order that they joined the queue. Queues assist in managing instances of high demand, guard against crowding, and guarantee a methodical approach to client service.
• Call Center Management: Waiting lists are a tool used by contact centers to manage incoming calls. Calls are put in a queue and handled first-come, first-served by agents who are available. Queues allow for effective call routing, proper volume handling, and equitable distribution of client inquiries.

Linked lists are used in a wide range of real-world situations. Following are a few instances that illustrate their importance:

• Contact Lists: Linked lists can be used to implement lists of contacts within our phones’ or email programmes. A linked list can be used to represent each contact as a node with a pointer to the following contact. Linked lists make it simple to organize and modify contact information by enabling rapid contact insertion, deletion, and traversal.
• Musical or media playlists: In video or audio streaming apps, linked lists are frequently used to construct and maintain playlists. A node in a linked list with a link to the following item can be used to represent each song or video. This makes it simple to change playlists by adding or eliminating songs, rearranging them, or moving on to the next track.
• File networks: To preserve the arrangement of directories and files, file systems use linked lists. A pointer to the following directory or item within every folder can be seen as a component in the linked list. This makes it possible to navigate the file system quickly and facilitates operations like renaming, deleting, and creating new files.

## Trees

There are many real-world uses for trees in many different fields. Following are a few instances
that illustrate their importance:

• Computers’ file systems:  Organize directories and files using tree structures. Files and subdirectories are the children of each directory, which can be thought of as a node in the tree. Effective file and directory management, navigation, and searching are made possible by this hierarchical structure.
• Organizational Charts: Organizational hierarchies in enterprises are frequently
represented by trees. Every worker or job can be depicted as a branch in the plant, with parent-child links showing the relationships between people in those positions such as administrators and subordinates. Visualizing the hierarchical links inside an organization is made easier by trees.
• Family Trees: Another useful use of trees is genealogy or family trees. A family is represented by its members as nodes, and the connections between the nodes are
determined by parent-child relationships. Family trees assist in keeping track of kinship links and provide a visual picture of ancestry.

## Graphs

Graphs can be used in a wide range of real-world situations. Following are a few instances that illustrate their importance:

• Graphs are used by social media platforms to illustrate the connections between people in social networks. Every user is displayed as a node, and then any friendships or connections between individuals are shown as edges. Graphs make it possible to analyze social networks, find groups, and suggest friends or connections.
• Graphs are frequently used to model road networks, aeroplane paths, and railway networks in transportation systems. The connections between each intersection or station are shown as edges, and each is represented as a node. Graphs make it possible to design routes effectively, analyze traffic, and optimize transportation systems.
• Internet and Web Graphs: Graphs that represent the framework of the web and the way it works are extremely important. Connections between webpages are represented as edges, and web pages or sites are depicted as nodes. Search engines can crawl and index websites, rank pages, and deliver pertinent search results thanks to graph algorithms.

## Conclusion

To sum up, Data Structures and Algorithms (DSA) are important components of computer science and have a wide range of practical applications.
Additionally, DSA expertise helps programmers to create algorithms that optimize both space and time complexity, resulting in quicker execution, less resource usage, and better system performance.

DSA is crucial in a society that is becoming more and more dependent on technology. It enables us to effectively address problems in real life and create creative solutions that have an influence on many industries and raise the standard of living for both people and businesses. In order to succeed in the constantly changing field of computer science, aspiring developers and experts must have a solid foundation in DSA.

Article by Sakshi Masurkar, Team edSlash.