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Data Structures Using C
Introduction to Data Structures
Pointers and Indirection
Linear Data Structures
Stacks: The Abstract View
Queues: The Abstract View
Introduction to Trees
Introduction to Graphs

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Stacks: The Abstract View


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Linear Data Structures

Stack is the other common linear data structure which is been used now a days. Just like we did with the ordered list, we will examine the abstract view of the stack first and then look at the couple of ways a stack can be implemented.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Stack is very similar to a list except that a stack is more restricted. The figure below should give you an good idea of the abstract view of what stack is. Follow the directions to manipulate the simple stack and learn about the operations that the stack provides.


By seing the figure above you can see that this data structure is really a restricted list. You have restricted the access to one end of the list by using the pop and push operations. The result of this restriction is that items in the list will be stored one on top of the other. We must first remove all the items above it till you get to the bottom item. "Last-In, First-Out" or LIFO, which is used to describe the behavior, since the last item to enter the stack is the first item to leave the stack. The top item is the item always the last item to enter the stack and it is always the first item to leave the stack since no other items can be removed until the top item is removed.

PushStackItem(Stack, Item)
Item PopStackItem(Stack)

The PushStackItem operation has two parameters which are, the stack and an item. This operation adds the item to the top of the specified stack, the item and the stack which is specified in the above function. The PopStackItem operation only takes one parameter which is a stack(stack name). However, notice that this operation has the keyword Item listed to the left of the PopStackItem keyword. This keyword is used to represents the item that is removed from the top of the stack when the PopStackItem operation is done. These two operations(PushStackItem and PopStackItem) are part of the abstract view of the stack.




Pointer Implementation in the Stack

In order to implement a stack using pointers, we need to link nodes together just like we did for the pointer implementation of the list. Each node contains the stack item and the pointer to the next node. We also need a special pointer(stack pointer) to keep track of the top of our stack.






Stack Operations:


push(new-item:item-type)

Adds an item onto the stack.


top():item-type
Returns the last item pushed onto the stack.


pop()
Removes the most-recently-pushed item from the stack.


is-empty():Boolean
True iff no more items can be popped and there is no top item.


is-full():Boolean
True iff no more items can be pushed.


get-size():Integer
Returns the number of elements on the stack.


All operations except get-size() can be performed in O(1) time. get-size() runs in at worst O(N).


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