Lesson 6 - Linked lists in the C language

C and C++ The C language Dynamic memory allocation Linked lists in the C language

In the previous lesson, Dynamic arrays (vectors) in the C language, we created a dynamic array (vector). That is the first data structure in which we can store elements without having to specify its size first. As we mentioned, the advantage of the vector is a random access to its elements. And its disadvantage is the impossibility of inserting elements in the middle of the vector, as well as (even though it's not significant) memory and time demands associated with maintaining the free space in the array for additional elements.

In today's C tutorial, we're going to create a so-called linked list. It's a data structure that's used to store elements whose number we usually don't know in advance. We won't use an array in this case at all. The individual elements of the linked list are stored randomly in memory (they are no longer behind each other) and the consecutive elements point to each other. We can imagine this as a chain, when the 1st element points to the second, the second to the third, and so on.

Let's see how several numbers stored in an array look like:

Structure of array

When we put the same elements in a linked list, we can imagine the situation in the memory like this:


 

...End of the preview...

Premium article

Premium article

ict.social is a large database made up of manuals and tutorials, whose main goal is to provide high-quality IT education to everyone. We started out in the Czech republic, where we display roughly a million articles per month and receive plenty of gratitude from our users. Thanks to our successful establishment, we are now bringing these articles to the rest of the world.

Although we are trying to keep our content free of charge, maintaining the site is a huge effort for everyone involved. Therefore, some content (exercises and more advanced material) costs network points. Don't worry, they're really cheap :)

Article description

Requested article covers this content:

In this tutorial, we'll program Linked list which, similarly to vectors, is unlimited in capacity but has other advantages and also disadvantages.

Buy just this article

To access the article, you need 10 points
Currently, you have 0 points
You gain 10 points for adding an article to the site, or for $0.90

Buying this article gives you unlimited access to it forever. You will learn some more and help us keep giving our site maintenance which helps you and others get better futures. It's a win-win.

This article is licensed :Premium, by buying this article, you agree with the terms of use.

You gain points by supporting our network. This is done by sending a helpful amount of money to support the site, or by creating content for the network.

You can get points immediately using:

Credit card SMS Wire transfer
Credit card SMS Wire transfer

 

Article has been written for you by David Capka
Avatar
The author is a programmer, who likes web technologies and being the lead/chief article writer at ICT.social. He shares his knowledge with the community and is always looking to improve. He believes that anyone can do what they set their mind to.
Unicorn College The author learned IT at the Unicorn College - a prestigious college providing education on IT and economics.
Activities (4)