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Linked List In Javascript: Javascript Explained

Table of Contents

Linked Lists are a popular data structure in Javascript, and offer significant advantages to a programmer when dealing with memory and making performing certain operations more efficient. This article will cover the basics of working with Linked Lists in Javascript, from what they are and how they work to best practices for creating and manipulating them.

What is a Linked List?

A Linked List is a data structure composed of nodes that store and point to a piece of data. Each node contains the data, plus a link to the next node in the list. If a node is at the end of the list, the link points backwards to null. Linked Lists are linear data structures, meaning their elements are stored in a sequential order – unlike other data structures such as Hash Tables, which are non-linear.

Linked Lists are often used to implement stacks and queues, as they allow for efficient insertion and deletion of elements. They are also used in graph algorithms, such as depth-first search, and in sorting algorithms, such as merge sort. Linked Lists are also used in memory management, as they can be used to allocate and deallocate memory in a dynamic fashion.

How Linked Lists Work in Javascript

Linked Lists in Javascript are composed of two primary components: Nodes and Links. Nodes contain two pieces of information: the data being stored, and the Link that points to the next Node in the list. Links are how each Node is connected to the next Node in the list – they can be thought of as arrows pointing from one Node to another.

Linked Lists are often used to store data in an efficient manner, as they allow for quick insertion and deletion of elements. Additionally, they are often used to implement other data structures, such as stacks and queues. Linked Lists are also used in algorithms such as sorting and searching, as they allow for quick access to elements.

Benefits of Using Linked Lists in Javascript

Linked Lists have several advantages over traditional strategies for storing data. One of the most noticeable advantages is that they’re capable of dynamic memory allocation. This means that as more data is added to a Linked List, the list can automatically grow – compared to traditional techniques such as arrays which have a fixed size. This can make them more memory efficient, as they don’t require allocating a large amount of memory upfront.

They are also relatively quick to manipulate; adding or removing an element from a Linked List takes constant time (O(1)), compared to an array which takes linear time (O(n)) for an insertion or deletion. This makes Linked Lists an ideal choice when dealing with data that needs to be dynamically manipulated.

Another advantage of Linked Lists is that they can be used to implement a variety of data structures, such as stacks, queues, and priority queues. This makes them a versatile tool for solving complex problems. Additionally, Linked Lists are often used in algorithms that require traversing a list of elements, such as searching or sorting algorithms.

Creating a Linked List in Javascript

Creating a Linked List in Javascript is relatively easy. The List class is defined by three basic elements: a Node class, an add() method, and a remove() method. First, create the Node class with two properties – data (to store whatever data is necessary) and next (which points to the next Node). Then create the add() and remove() methods which will add and remove Nodes to/from the list.

The add() method should take in a data parameter and create a new Node with that data. The new Node should then be added to the end of the list. The remove() method should take in a data parameter and search the list for a Node with that data. If found, the Node should be removed from the list. Finally, the list should be traversed to ensure that the list is properly linked together.

Adding and Removing from a Linked List in Javascript

Adding an element to a Linked List is easy; it involves creating a new Node and then linking it with the other Nodes in the list. Similarly, removing an element is easy – simply unlink the target Node from its neighbours and remove it from the list.

When adding a new element to a Linked List, it is important to consider the order in which the elements are added. Depending on the type of Linked List, the elements may need to be added in a specific order to ensure the list is properly structured. Additionally, when removing an element, it is important to consider the effect this will have on the structure of the list.

Traversing a Linked List in Javascript

Traversing a Linked List means visiting or “walking” through all its Nodes. To do this, begin at the head Node and follow each Link until you reach the final Node or null. The most straightforward way of doing this is by using a “while” loop. You can also use recursion to traverse a Linked List, which can make your code more concise.

When traversing a Linked List, it is important to keep track of the current Node and the next Node. This can be done by using two variables, one to store the current Node and one to store the next Node. As you traverse the Linked List, you can update the current Node to the next Node and update the next Node to the Node after that. This will allow you to keep track of your progress and ensure that you visit every Node in the Linked List.

Sorting a Linked List in Javascript

Linked Lists are not always sorted, so they need to sorted if you want them to be sorted. One common sorting algorithm used with Linked Lists is Merge Sort – it’s an efficient way to sort a list since it only requires one pass over each element in the list.

Merge Sort works by dividing the list into two halves, sorting each half, and then merging the two halves together. This process is repeated until the list is completely sorted. It’s important to note that Merge Sort is a stable sorting algorithm, meaning that the relative order of elements with equal values is preserved.

Common Uses for Linked Lists in Javascript

Linked Lists have several applications in web development. They are often used as queues, stacks, and deques. They can also be used as doubly-linked lists for storing data and for iterating over elements within a collection. Finally, they can be used for fast insertions and deletions when dealing with dynamic data sets.

Best Practices for Working with Linked Lists in Javascript

When using Linked Lists in Javascript, there are some general best practices to bear in mind:

  • Always maintain references to both head and tail nodes.
  • Be careful not to create cycles within your lists.
  • Make sure all iterations of your list are done correctly.
  • Be careful when deleting nodes since it can easily create memory leaks.
  • Be mindful of relative positions when traversing the list.

Using these best practices can help you write efficient, bug-free code when working with Linked Lists in Javascript.

In conclusion, Linked Lists are a popular data structure that offer several advantages for efficient memory allocation, manipulating dynamic datasets, and sorting lists. Hopefully this article has given you an understanding of what Linked Lists are and how to create and work with them in Javascript.

Nisha Kumari

Nisha Kumari

Nisha Kumari, a Founding Engineer at Bito, brings a comprehensive background in software engineering, specializing in Java/J2EE, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and web development. Her career highlights include significant roles at Accenture, where she led end-to-end project deliveries and application maintenance, and at PubMatic, where she honed her skills in online advertising and optimization. Nisha's expertise spans across SAP HANA development, project management, and technical specification, making her a versatile and skilled contributor to the tech industry.

Written by developers for developers

This article was handcrafted with by the Bito team.

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