ICS 311 #4: Basic ADTs: Stacks, Queues, Lists and Trees


Outline

  1. Stacks
  2. Queues
  3. Lists
  4. First peek at Trees
  5. Dynamic Set ADT

Here we review some basic Abstract Data Types that organize information in useful ways. This should be review, so will be covered briefly, although some nuances of implementation are discussed and we will also do asymptotic analyses of the main operations of implementations.

Readings and Screencasts


Stacks

Stacks follow the Last In, First Out (LIFO) principle. They are useful when a problem has goal-subgoal structure, and we need to keep track of higher level goals or processes when we set them aside to pursue subgoals or sub-processes (e.g., the run-time stack of a computer operating system, or keeping track of neighbor vertices yet to be visited when searching a graph).

Stack ADT

We start by specifying the desired behavior of stacks before looking at implementations. Here's the Stack ADT written as a simple Java interface:

  public interface Stack {
  // ADT that stores and retrieves Objects in a LIFO manner

     public Stack( ); 
     // Create an instance of ADT Stack and initialize it to the empty stack.

     public void push(Object o); 
     // Insert object o at the top of the stack.

     public Object pop( ); 
     // Remove and return the top (most recently pushed) object on the stack.
     // Error occurs if the stack is empty. 
 
     public int size( ); 
     // Return the number of objects in the stack.

     public boolean isEmpty( ); 
     // Return a boolean indicating whether the stack is empty.

     public Object top( ); 
     // Return the top (most recently pushed) object on the stack, without 
     // removing it. Error occurs if the stack is empty.
  }

Properties, given s a stack instance:

  1. { push(s,e); s.top() } returns value e
  2. { push(s,e); s.pop() } returns value e and leaves s in the same state as when the sequence started
  3. { s = new(); s.isEmpty() } returns true
  4. { push(s,i); s.isEmpty() } returns false
  5. if s.isEmpty() then s.top() is an error, and does not change s
  6. if s.isEmpty() then s.pop() is an error, and does not change s
  7. if s.isEmpty() then s.size() == 0
  8. if s.size() == n then after s.push(o), s.size() == n+1
  9. if ¬s.isEmpty() and s.size() == n then after s.pop(o), s.size() == n-1.

Applications:

What is the relationship of stacks to method execution in the Java Virtual Machine?

What is the relationship of stacks to recursion?

Array Implementation

Assume instance variables (fields) of object array S and int top. The three essential operations follow. (I am modifying the book's pseudocode slightly.)

  boolean isEmpty ( ) 
  1     if top == 0 
  2       return TRUE
  3     else
  4       return FALSE

  void push(Object o)
  1     top = top + 1
  2     S[top] = o                // what might go wrong here?

  Object pop( )
  1     if isEmpty()
  2       error "stack underflow" // or throw new StackException (...) 
  3     else
  4       top = top - 1
  5       return S[top+1]         // we comment on this later 

What is the asymptotic complexity of these operations?

The potential error in push (array index out of range) is an implementation concern outside of the scope of the logical definition of the stack ADT. How might it be handled?

Example

Let's start with this stack:



Push 17, and then 3: Pop once:

What is the status of S[top+1] after pop returns? Why might that be a problem?

An Improvement

  Object pop( )  // version that dereferences objects for garbage collection
  1     if isEmpty()
  2       error "stack underflow" 
  3     else
  4       o = S[top]
  5       S[top] = null  // don't keep references to objects not really there 
  6       top = top - 1
  7       return o 

Queues

Queues operate in a First In, First Out (FIFO), like what the British call a "queue" at the post office or bank. They are also very useful for managing prioritization of tasks in computing.

Queue ADT

Again, expressed as a simple Java interface:

  public interface Queue{
  // ADT that stores and retrieves Objects in a FIFO manner

    public Queue( ); 
    // Create an instance of ADT Queue and initialize it to the empty queue.

    public void enqueue(Object o); 
    // Insert object o at the rear of the queue.

    public Object dequeue( );
    // Remove and return the frontmost (least recently queued) object from the queue. 
    // queue. Error occurs if the queue is empty.

    public int size( ); 
    // Return the number of objects in the queue.

    public boolean isEmpty( ); 
    // Return a boolean indicating whether the queue is empty.

    public Object front( ); 
    // Return the front (least recently queued) object in the queue, without 
    // removing it. Error occurs if the queue is empty.
  }

Properties (given q a queue instance): are very similar to those for Stack, except for operations where ordering matters (FIFO rather than LIFO). Replace the first two properties for Stack with:

  1. if q.enqueue(o1) occurs before q.enqueue(o2) then successive q.dequeue() returns o1 before o2
  2. q.front() returns the least recently enqueued element that has not been dequeued.

Then rewrite the other properties with substitution {enqueue/push, dequeue/pop, front/top}.

Array Implementation

Assume three instance variables (fields): object array Q; int head indexing the next element to dequeue; and int tail indexing the next place a new element may be placed.

  boolean isEmpty ( ) 
  1     if head == tail
  2       return TRUE
  3     else
  4       return FALSE
  
  void enqueue(Object o) 
  1     Q[tail] = o
  2     if tail == length  
  3       tail = 1           // wrap around
  4     else
  5       tail = tail + 1
  
  Object dequeue( )     
  1     o = Q[head]
  2     if head == length
  3       head = 1
  4     else 
  5       head = head + 1
  6     return o

The queue is full when head == tail + 1. If the queue is full and enqueue is called, the above code will lose data (tail overwrites head). We can write code to check for this error condition (again, this is an implementation concern outside the logical definition of the ADT).

Example

Beginning with this Queue:



Enqueue 17, 3 and 5 (notice wrap-around): Dequeue once:

The same issue concerning object dereferencing applies. We should modify the code to write null over the dequeued element so it can be garbage-collected if there are no other references.

Variation using modular arithmetic

This version handles dereferencing but does not check for overflow or underflow. It assumes that the array index starts with 0, but can be changed for 1-based indexing.

  void enqueue(Object o) 
  1     Q[tail] = o
  2     tail = (tail + 1) mod length // mod is % in Java 
  
  Object dequeue( )
  1     o = Q[head]
  2     Q[head] = null               // allow garbage collection!
  3     head = (head + 1) mod length 
  4     return o

What is the asymptotic complexity of these operations?

Deques

One can combine the stack and queue concepts into a double-ended queue (deque) that allows insertion and deletion at both ends. O(1) procedures are possible for all insertion and deletion algorithms.

 

Lists

Lists store objects in linear order. We will assume that list elements have a key and may have other satellite data.

In an unsorted list, we assume no particular order to the elements (the order is arbitrary). In a sorted list or set, the elements are ordered by key.

A suitable ADT for lists will be given later, in the form of DynamicSet.

Linked Lists

Linked lists use list element objects to hold the data (here in the form of a key), and record the linear order using next pointers. Doubly linked lists also have prev pointers.

What are the advantages of adding prev pointers?

Our examples will assume List instance variables for head and tail, and ListElement instance variables key, next, and prev. (Note: public interfaces for ADTs would probably not expose listElement: see discussion under Dynamic Sets later.)

Searching

The procedure for seaching is the same for singly and doubly linked lists:

  ListElement listSearch(Key k)
  1     e = head
  2     while e ≠ null and e.key ≠ k
  3       e = e.next 
  4     return e

What is returned if k is not in the list?

What is the worst case complexity of this algorithm?

Inserting and Deleting

Since you are familiar with singularly linked lists from your previous studies, we'll go direct to doubly linked lists, but recall that with singly linked lists you had to be careful to keep track of the tail end of the list that you had "snipped off" during an insertion or deletion. The same applies here, but we also have to manage prev pointers.

  void listInsert(ListElement e) // inserts at beginning of list
  1     e.next = head
  2     if head ≠ null
  3       head.prev = e 
  4     head = e
  5     e.prev = null

Inserting 25:

  void listDelete(ListElement e) // removes from list, wherever it is 
  1     if e.prev ≠ null
  2       e.prev.next = e.next
  3     else 
  4       head = e.next 
  5     if e.next ≠ null
  6       e.next.prev = e.prev

Deleting the element keyed by 4:

What is the worst case complexity of these algorithms?

What about garbage collection in listDelete? Same problem as for pop and dequeue?

Circular DLLs with Sentinels

CLRS discuss adding an extra sentinel element that marks the beginning of the list and making the linked list circular so that we don't have to check for null (falling off the end of the list). It also enables us to get to the end of the list quickly

Sentinels remove the need for a conditional test, but this only speeds up operations a small constant, at the cost of an extra listElement object per every list. Their use is more compelling if you often need to go to the end of the list.

For example, here is the above list as a circular doubly linked list. (L.nil references the sentinel.)

 
  void listInsert(ListElement e) // Sentinel version 
  1     e.next = nil.next           
  2     nil.next.prev = e 
  3     nil.next = e 
  5     e.prev = nil

Insert 25:

Let's insert something into the empty list ...

(Left for you to try.)

You might check your understanding by doing exercises 10.2-1, 10.2-2 and 10.2-3.


Array Representations of Lists

We generally do not need to be concerned with the topic of this section in modern programming languages, but if you ever have to program in FORTRAN, the section shows how to store objects such as listElement in arrays:

... and how to manage your own free list of available listElements (languages like Java and LISP do this automatically, but (cue old fart voice) "when I was your age ..."). Here is an array with both a DLL and a free list embedded in it:

After allocating one free cell to add 7 to the front of the list: After deleting list item 2 at array position 5:

Of course, someone has to implement the memory management, and there is a large literature on methods of garbage collection.


Binary Trees (A First Look)

Trees in general and binary trees in particular are hugely important data structures in computer science. There are many ways to represent them. A linked represention provides great flexibility and is widely used. In a few weeks we'll also see how trees can be embedded in arrays.

Assume that class BinaryTree has instance variable root, and it consists of vertices of class TreeNode with instance variables parent, left and right, as well as possibly other data.

In a few weeks we will study methods for search, insertion and deletion in special types of tree, heaps and binary search trees.

Do you have any thoughts on what insertion and deletion might involve, in general?

Exercises:
10.4-2: write an O(n) recursive procedure to visit (e.g., print out) the nodes of the tree.
10.4-3: write an O(n) non-recursive procedure to visit the nodes of the tree. Use a stack.


N-ary Trees

We can represent n-ary trees by providing each node with a fixed number n child fields (child1, child2, child3 ... childn). An equivalent approach is used for b-trees, which are used for efficient disk access.

But a fixed n is only viable if we can bound the number of children, and can be wasteful of memory if many nodes do not have n children.

An alternative representation allows each TreeNode to have an arbitrary number of children while still using O(n) space.

Left-Child Right-Sibling Representation

This implementation has instance variable root, but consists of vertices that are instances of a class we'll call LCRSTreeNode with instance variables parent, left-child and right-sibling, as well as possibly other data. (Alternatively, we can just use TreeNode, but understand left to refer to the left-child and right to refer to the right sibling.)

A good practice problem is to write a procedure for visiting (printing out) all the nodes of these kinds of trees.

 

Dynamic Set ADT

Above we have been reviewing basic data structures for keeping track of objects under specific organizational schemes (e.g., FIFO, LIFO, sequential, and hierarchical).

Another organizational scheme is the set or ordered set. We often need to keep track of a set of objects, query it for membership, and possibly modify the set dynamically. Other operations are also possible if the elements of the set are ordered.

These capabilities can be implemented in different ways. The Dynamic Set ADT captures the requirements that implementations must meet. Many of the ADTs (and their implementations as data structures and algorithms) we will study can be seen as specializations of the Dynamic Set ADT.

Text's Dynamic Set ADT

The introduction to Part III of the textbook, page 230, gives this specification:

SEARCH(S; k)
A query that, given a set S and a key value k, returns a pointer x to an element in S such that x.key = k, or NIL if no such element belongs to S.

INSERT(S; x)
A modifying operation that augments the set S with the element pointed to by x. We usually assume that any attributes in element x needed by the set implementation have already been initialized.

DELETE(S; x)
A modifying operation that, given a pointer x to an element in the set S, removes x from S. (Note that this operation takes a pointer to an element x, not a key value.)

MINIMUM(S)
A query on a totally ordered set S that returns a pointer to the element of S with the smallest key.

MAXIMUM(S)
A query on a totally ordered set S that returns a pointer to the element of S with the largest key.

SUCCESSOR(S; x)
A query that, given an element x whose key is from a totally ordered set S, returns a pointer to the next larger element in S, or NIL if x is the maximum element.

PREDECESSOR(S; x)
A query that, given an element x whose key is from a totally ordered set S, returns a pointer to the next smaller element in S, or NIL if x is the minimum element.

There are some issues with this specification, particularly in the use of x.

A safer specification would give INSERT and DELETE the key k rather than the element x, hiding implementation details and reducing dependencies between client and ADT. This in turn leads to a performance problem, dicussed below, but it can be resolved.

Encapsulated Dynamic Set ADT

An encapsulated version of the ADT is given as a Java interface below. It communicates with clients primarily through keys and associated elements that only the client need understand.


  public interface DynamicSet {
  // ADT that stores and retrieves Objects according to keys of type KeyType
 
     public DynamicSet( ); 
     // Creates an instance of ADT DynamicSet and initializes it to the empty set.   
 
     public void insert(KeyType k; Object e); 
     // Inserts element e in the set under key k.
 
     public void delete(KeyType k); 
     // Given a key k, removes elements indexed by k from the set.
 
     public Object search(KeyType k); 
     // Finds an Object with key k and returns a pointer to it,
     // or null if not found. 
 
     // The following operations apply when there is a total ordering on KeyType   
 
     public Object minimum( ); 
     // Finds an Object that has the smallest key, and returns a pointer to it,
     // or null if the set is empty. 
 
     public Object maximum( ); 
     // Finds an Object that has the largest key, and returns a pointer to it,
     // or null if the set is empty.
 
     public Object successor(KeyType k); 
     // Finds an Object that has the next larger key in the set above k, 
     // and returns a pointer to it, or null if k is the maximum element.
 
     public Object predecessor(KeyType k); 
     // Finds an Object that has the next smaller key in the set below k,
     // and returns a pointer to it, or null if k is the minimum element.
 }

As hinted above, we may pay a cost for proper encapsulation. For example, suppose an application must frequently pair search and delete operations to find elements we want to remove. If search cannot communicate the location found in the underlying datastructure to delete, then delete will have to search again to find what to operate on.

This inefficiency could be eliminated by abstracting the concept of a position in a data structure, and passing around position objects that hide implementation details. This solution is not discussed here as it is more of a software engineering rather than algorithm design and analysis concern: see Goodrich & Tamassia's Algorithms textbook for one approach.

Alternative Dynamic Set Implementations

Linked lists can be used to support a viable Dynamic Set implementation for small sets, for example using listInsert and listSearch to implement insert and search, respectively.

Future Topics will present Hash Tables, Binary Search Trees, and Red-Black Trees as alternative implementations of DynamicSet. You will use some of these in your assignments (and often as a working professional), so need to understand them well.


Dan Suthers
Last modified: Tue Sep 5 01:30:44 HST 2017
Images are from Cormen et al. Introduction to Algorithms, Third Edition.