Questions on linked lists
Erik Max Francis
max at alcyone.com
Wed Apr 2 00:24:09 CEST 2003
Dave Benjamin wrote:
> That said, what would be an example of a legitimate need for a custom
> list data structure in Python? I can't say I've come across one yet.
> linked lists outperform native Python lists at certain operations?
Yes. Python lists are (computer science) vectors, which means they're
dynamically resizeable arrays. It's inexpensive to index into the list
[O(1)] and add to the list [amortized O(1)], but it's expensive to
insert or delete from the list [O(n)]. A linked list, although it's
expensive to index [O(n)], is very inexpensive to insert or delete
objects at _any_ location [O(1) for either].
If you find you need a data structure where you are doing a lot more
inserting and deleting than indexing, then a linked list might well make
a great deal more sense.
Erik Max Francis / max at alcyone.com / http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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