# What is linear data structure?

A linear data structure is a type of data structure that stores data in a linear fashion, meaning that the data is organized in a sequence.

The most common examples of linear data structures are array, stack, hash tables and linked lists.

**Linked list:**

in a linked list, each element of the list is called a node, and each node contains a value and a reference to the next node in the list. Linked lists are commonly used to store a large number of items that may change frequently.

**Array:**

In an array, data is stored in a contiguous block of memory, with each element of the array being assigned an index. Arrays are commonly used to store a large number of similar items.

**Stack:**

A stack is a sequential data structure that abides by the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle. This implies that the object that is appended last to the stack is the initial one to be eliminated. Stacks are frequently utilized to stockpile a group of objects that require to be monitored, like method calls in a software.

**Queue:**

It is a data structure that uses the FIFO rule (First In-First Out). In this rule, the element which is added first will be removed first. There are two terms used in the queue **front** end and **rear**. The insertion operation performed at the back end is known ad enqueue, and the deletion operation performed at the front end is known as dequeue.

#### Hash Tables:

This can be implemented as linear or non-linear data structures too. The data structures consist of key-value pairs and data is retrieved using key value.

In summary, linear data structures are data structures that store data in a linear fashion and are commonly used to store a large number of similar items, items that may change frequently, or items that need to be kept track of.

**The most important points in a linear data structure are:**

- In a linear data structure, data elements are arranged in a linear order where each and every element is attached to its previous and next adjacent.
- A large amount of data is organized through every type of data structure.
- In linear data structure, single level is involved.
- In linear data structure, data elements can be traversed in a single run only.
- In a linear data structure, memory is not utilized in an efficient way. Its examples are array, stack, queue, linked list, hash tables etc.
- A Specific principle is followed by every data structure.
- Linear data structures are mainly used in application software development.
- Performance of Linear data structures is usually good for simple operations like Add/ remove.
- Performance of Linear data structures is usually slower for searching operations.
- The basic principle of the data structure should be followed even if any operations are carried out over the data structure.