Some applications of data structures in the real world

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If you are not aware of data structures, these programming entities are helpful for a programmer to decide and execute data in various manners as per the need and necessity. Since data can come in different forms and orientation, it is quite necessary to apprehend it in a particular style or manner to make meaningful information out of it. This is where data structures came in handy. If you have learned c ++ or any other language, you will find that there are a different type of data structures available to work on a string of data in different manners. The implementation of data structures is not limited to programming only because there is a  lot of real-life applications associated with them also. You can easily take up data structures course online to know more about implementation and uses in in programming context and real life as well. Let’s take a look at some of the real-life examples of data structures to make you understand them better and know the differences among them as well.


Images standing in a line at a store or movie ticket booking counter. You will be entertained on first come first serve basis as the person standing in front of you will be served before you then your turn will come. Similarly, the person standing behind you will be served later. Similarly, in programming language when a string of data is fetched, the first element of the string will be taken into action at the very beginning, then the second one and so on in a linear manner.  This is known as FIFO for first in first out approach.


Contradictory to first in first out approach, stack data structures works on last in first out methodology. If you are looking up forData structures course online, you will find this difference easily. To understand this better, imagine stacking up a pile of plates. The last plate on the stack will be taken out first rather than the first one. Since the first one is at the bottom of the stack, it will be the one to be taken out last.

Priority Queue

Even though LIFO and FIFO and are the most common type of data structures used in programming, there is is a need for priority queue in real life and programming interface. Imagine standing in a hospital. In general case, FIFO approach will be conducted at the patient registration counter to take in patients and serve them but in case of an emergency, patients with the more urgent requirement of treatment are taken on priority. Moreover, priority queue patients can be assessed on FIFO and LIFO basis.

Hash table

A Hash table structure allows you to look up for a particular set of data with a particular reference ID. The best example of this is looking up for the meaning of a word in a dictionary. You will follow the approach of going to the page with the first alphabet of the world and then narrowing down your search with the second alphabet and so on. This will help you search for the particular word very quickly instead of going through the entire set of records.

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