LinkedHashMap: Internal Working

Take a look at the internal workings of LinkedHashMap.

The internal workings of a LinkedHashMap are similar to the internal workings of HashMap with one major difference. In LinkedHashMap, each Entry maintains the record of the Entry that was inserted before it and after it.

If we look at the Entry class of LinkedHashMap, then we can see that it has two extra fields in comparison to the Entry class of HashMap. These extra fields are before and after. For a given Entry, the before field points to the Entry that was inserted prior to this Entry. The after field points to the Entry that was inserted after this Entry.

static class Entry<K,V> extends HashMap.Node<K,V> {
    Entry<K,V> before, after;
    Entry(int hash, K key, V value, Node<K,V> next) {
        super(hash, key, value, next);

There are two additional fields in the LinkedHashMap namely head and tail. The head points to the first node that was inserted in the Map and tail points to the last node that was inserted in the Map.

Let’s take a step by step look at how elements are inserted in a LinkedHashMap.

Inserting the first element

Let’s consider creating a LinkedHashMap that stores the student information. The key is the id of the student and the value is the name of the student.

We are inserting our first record, 123; “Roy” in LinkedHashMap on the tail. The following process will occur:

  1. The hash of 123 will be calculated and based on the hash value, a bucket will be decided. Let’s say the bucket is 5.
  2. An Entry object is created with the key as 123 and the value as Roy. The before and after fields are set to null as this is the first record.
  3. Since there is no element in the LinkedHashMap, both the head and tail variables are null. Now both these variables will point towards the newly created Entry.

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