Overview of Linear & Non-Linear Data Structures

In this lesson, we will have review time complexities of all the data structures we have studied. We will also categorize them into linear and non-linear data structures.

Now that we have covered all the popular data structures let’s see which of them are linear and which are non-linear. This information is useful when deciding the appropriate data structure for our algorithm.

Linear Data Structures

In linear data structures, each element is connected to either one (the next element) or two (the next and previous) more elements. Traversal in these structures is linear, meaning that insertion, deletion, and search work in O(n).

Arrays, linked lists, stacks, and queues are all example of linear data structures.

Non-Linear Data Structures

The exact opposite of linear data structures are non-linear data structures. In a non-linear data structure, each element can be connected to several other data elements. Traversal is not linear and, hence, search, insertion, and deletion can work in O(log n) and even O(1) time.

Trees, graphs and hash tables are all non-linear data structures.

Time and Space Complexity Cheat Table

Here’s a quick refresher of all the complexities for the data structures we’ve studied in this course. This will help you compare their performances in different scenarios.

Note: In the table, n is the total number of elements stored in the structure.

Data Structure Insertion (Average/Worst) Deletion (Average/Worst) Search (Average/Worst) Space Complexity (Worst)
Array O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n)
Singly Linked List O(1) O(n) O(n) O(n)
Doubly Linked List O(1) O(n) O(n) O(n)
Stack O(1) O(1) O(n) O(n)
Queue O(1) O(1) O(n) O(n)
Binary Heap O(logn) O(logn) removeMax() or removeMin() O(n) O(n)
Binary Tree O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n)
Binary Search Tree O(logn) / O(n) O(logn) / O(n) O(logn) / O(n) O(n)
Red Black Tree O(logn) O(logn) O(logn) O(n)
AVL Tree O(logn) O(logn) O(logn) O(n)
2-3 Tree O(logn) O(logn) O(logn) O(n)
Hash Table O(1) / O(n) O(1) / O(n) O(1) / O(n) O(n)
Trie O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n)

Complexities of Graph Data Structure

E=Number of edgesE = Number\ of\ edges

V=Number of verticesV = Number\ of\ vertices

Operation Adjacency List Adjacency Matrix
Add Vertex O(1) O(V2)
Remove Vertex O(V+E) O(V2)
Add Edge O(1) O(1)
Remove Edge O(E) O(1)
Depth First Search O(V+E) O(V2)
Breadth First Search O(V+E) O(V2)
Space Complexity O(V+E) O(V2)

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