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Data Structure Interview Questions and Answers

What is Data Structure?
  • Data structure is a group of data elements grouped together under one name.
  • These data elements are called members. They can have different types and different lengths.
  • Some of them store the data of same type while others store different types of data.
Explain the types of data structures

There are two basic types of data structures: linear and nonlinear. Linear data structures are organized in a way similar to the way computer memory is organized. Linear data structures store elements one after the other, in a linear fashion. Only one element of the data can be traversed at a time. Imagine a stack of books placed on a shelf. A book will be placed between two other books, but not three books- a book will only have a relationship to two other books at the most at one time. Linear data elements are stored in a similar way.

Non linear data structures are stored in a sequential way. The data elements in the non linear data structures may have relationships with one or more elements at the same time. Manipulating non linear data structures is more difficult than manipulating linear data structures.

List out the areas in which data structures are applied extensively?
  • Compiler Design,
  • Operating System,
  • Database Management System,
  • Statistical analysis package,
  • Numerical Analysis,
  • Graphics,
  • Artificial Intelligence,
  • Simulation
Differentiate file structure from storage structure.

Basically, the key difference is the memory area that is being accessed. When dealing with the structure that resides the main memory of the computer system, this is referred to as storage structure. When dealing with an auxiliary structure, we refer to it as file structure.

Which data structure is used to perform recursion?
  • The data structure used for recursion is Stack.
  • Its LIFO property helps it remembers its 'caller'. This helps it know the data which is to be returned when the function has to return.
  • System stack is used for storing the return addresses of the function calls.
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