Chapter 8




8.1 General Trees

Productivity experts say that breakthroughs come by thinking “nonlinearly.” In this chapter, we will discuss one of the most important nonlinear data structures in computing—trees. Tree structures are indeed a breakthrough in data organization, for they allow us to implement a host of algorithms much faster than when using linear data structures, such as arrays or linked lists. Trees also provide a natural organization for data, and consequently have become ubiquitous structures in file systems, graphical user interfaces, databases, websites, and many other computer systems.

It is not always clear what productivity experts mean by “nonlinear” thinking, but when we say that trees are “nonlinear,” we are ...

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