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Deque Vs Queue Java: Java Explained

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Deque and queue data structures are both important concepts in Java programming. It is important to understand the differences between the two, as well as when to use either one. In this article, we’ll look at the key differences between a Deque and a Queue in Java, how to implement them in Java code, and when to use each. Let’s dive in.

What is a Deque?

A deque (“double-ended queue”) is a dynamic data structure that allows for both insertion and removal of elements from both the front and the back. Unlike a queue, elements can be added to and removed from the deque from both ends. This makes deques more efficient than queues in many common scenarios. Deques can also be used as stacks.

Deques are often used in applications that require quick access to both the front and back of the data structure. For example, they are often used in web browsers to store recently visited web pages, allowing users to quickly move back and forth between pages. Deques are also used in graph algorithms, where they can be used to store the vertices of a graph.

What is a Queue?

A queue is a linear data structure that allows for the insertion of elements at one end (the back) and removal of elements from the other end (the front). This makes it a “first in, first out” or FIFO structure. This is distinct from a deque, where elements can be added or removed from either the front or the back. Queues are usually used for time-sensitive tasks.

Queues are often used in computer programming to store data that needs to be processed in a specific order. For example, a web server may use a queue to store requests from users, and process them in the order they were received. Queues can also be used to store tasks that need to be completed in a certain order, such as a series of calculations or a set of instructions.

What are the Differences Between Deque and Queue?

The two main differences between deques and queues are how they handle insertions and removals of elements, as well as their use cases. As mentioned, Deques allow for elements to be added or removed from either end, whereas Queues allow for only one end to be operated on. This has the effect of increasing the performance of the Deque for certain tasks compared to the Queue. Additionally, Deques are often used for memory-sensitive tasks, whereas Queues are usually used for time-sensitive tasks.

Deques also have the advantage of being able to store more elements than a Queue, as they can be expanded in both directions. This makes them ideal for applications that require a large amount of data to be stored and accessed quickly. Furthermore, Deques are often used in applications that require a high degree of flexibility, such as in graph algorithms or data structures. In contrast, Queues are typically used in applications that require a more rigid structure, such as in operating systems or web servers.

How to Implement a Deque in Java

To implement a Deque in Java, you’ll need to create an interface that extends the Deque interface or a class that extends AbstractDeque. To add an element to the Deque, use addLast(). To remove an element from the Deque, use removeFirst(), removeLast(), or pollFirst(). To obtain the first element of the Deque, use getFirst() and to obtain the last element you’ll use getLast(). To obtain the size of the Deque, use size().

It is important to note that the Deque interface does not allow for the addition of null elements. Additionally, the Deque interface does not support the use of the equals() or hashCode() methods. If you need to compare two Deque objects, you should use the containsAll() method.

How to Implement a Queue in Java

Similar to the Deque, to implement a queue in Java, you’ll need to create an interface that extends the Queue interface or create a class that extends AbstractQueue. To add an element to the queue, use add(). To remove an element from the queue, use remove(), poll(), or peek(). To obtain the size of the queue, use size().

When implementing a queue, it is important to consider the order in which elements are added and removed. Elements should be added to the back of the queue and removed from the front. This ensures that the queue follows a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) order.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Deque and Queue

There are several advantages and disadvantages of using either a deque or a queue in your code. Deques are more efficient than queues when you need to add and remove elements from both ends of the data structure. They also have better performance than queues under certain conditions. On the other hand, queues are better suited for time-sensitive tasks such as message passing. In addition, queues allow only one vertex (end) of the structure to be accessed at a time, while deques allow access to both ends.

Deques are also more flexible than queues, as they can be used to implement a variety of data structures such as stacks, priority queues, and double-ended queues. Furthermore, deques are more memory efficient than queues, as they require less memory to store the same amount of data. However, queues are more suitable for applications that require a fixed-size data structure, as deques can grow and shrink dynamically.

Performance Considerations for Deque and Queue

The performance of both data structures is affected by several factors such as the number of items stored in them, the number of times elements are added and removed from them, and the lengths of operations such as searching for items. This means that when designing a system with deques or queues you should consider these factors before deciding which would work best for your application.

In addition, the type of data stored in the deque or queue can also affect performance. For example, if the data is complex and requires more processing, then a deque may be more suitable as it allows for more efficient access to the data. On the other hand, if the data is simpler and requires less processing, then a queue may be more suitable as it allows for faster insertion and removal of elements.

Use Cases for Deque and Queue in Java

Deques make great solutions for non-linear data structures such as trees and binary search trees. They are often used as stacks, queues, or both, depending on the application. Queues are often used in message-passing systems such as asynchronous programming applications. They can also be used for task scheduling systems due to its FIFO nature.

Deques are also useful for implementing double-ended queues, which allow for efficient insertion and removal of elements from both ends of the queue. This makes them ideal for applications such as priority queues, where elements can be inserted or removed based on their priority. Queues are also useful for implementing producer-consumer systems, where one thread produces data and another thread consumes it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, deques and queues are both valuable data structures that have many uses in software engineering. When designing a system, it is important to consider which data structure best fits your needs based on its advantages and disadvantages as discussed in this article. Understanding the differences between these two data structures is key to successful software development.

Sarang Sharma

Sarang Sharma

Sarang Sharma is Software Engineer at Bito with a robust background in distributed systems, chatbots, large language models (LLMs), and SaaS technologies. With over six years of experience, Sarang has demonstrated expertise as a lead software engineer and backend engineer, primarily focusing on software infrastructure and design. Before joining Bito, he significantly contributed to Engati, where he played a pivotal role in enhancing and developing advanced software solutions. His career began with foundational experiences as an intern, including a notable project at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, to develop an assistive website for the visually challenged.

Written by developers for developers

This article was handcrafted with by the Bito team.

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