Binary Tree | Set 1 (Introduction)
A tree is a popular data structure that is non-linear in nature. Unlike other data structures like array, stack, queue, and linked list which are linear in nature, a tree represents a hierarchical structure. The ordering information of a tree is not important. A tree contains nodes and 2 pointers. These two pointers are the left child and the right child of the parent node. Let us understand the terms of tree in detail.
- Root: The root of a tree is the topmost node of the tree that has no parent node. There is only one root node in every tree.
- Edge: Edge acts as a link between the parent node and the child node.
- Leaf: A node that has no child is known as the leaf node. It is the last node of the tree. There can be multiple leaf nodes in a tree.
- Depth: The depth of the node is the distance from the root node to that particular node.
- Height: The height of the node is the distance from that node to the deepest node of the tree.
- Height of tree: The Height of the tree is the maximum height of any node.
j <– root
/ \ \
a h z <– leaves
Why Use Trees?
1. One reason to use trees might be because you want to store information that naturally forms a hierarchy. For example, the file system on a computer:
user <– root
. . . home
/ / | \
. . . cs101 cs112 cs113
2. Trees (with some ordering e.g., BST) provide moderate access/search (quicker than Linked List and slower than arrays).
3. Trees provide moderate insertion/deletion (quicker than Arrays and slower than Unordered Linked Lists).
4. Like Linked Lists and unlike Arrays, Trees don’t have an upper limit on the number of nodes as nodes are linked using pointers.
Main applications of trees include:
- Manipulate hierarchical data.
- Make information easy to search (see tree traversal).
- Manipulate sorted lists of data.
- As a workflow for compositing digital images for visual effects.
- Router algorithms
- Form of multi-stage decision-making (see business chess).
Binary Tree: A tree whose elements have at most 2 children is called a binary tree. Since each element in a binary tree can have only 2 children, we typically name them the left and right child.
Binary Tree Representation: A tree is represented by a pointer to the topmost node of the tree. If the tree is empty, then the value of the root is NULL.
A Tree node contains the following parts.
- Pointer to the left child
- Pointer to the right child
In C, we can represent a tree node using structures. In other languages, we can use classes as part of their OOP feature. Below is an example of a tree node with integer data.
Basic Operation On Binary Tree:
- Inserting an element.
- Removing an element.
- Searching for an element.
- Traversing an element. There are three types of traversals in a binary tree which will be discussed ahead.
Auxiliary Operation On Binary Tree:
- Finding the height of the tree
- Find the level of the tree
- Finding the size of the entire tree.
Applications of Binary Tree:
- In compilers, Expression Trees are used which is an application of binary tree.
- Huffman coding trees are used in data compression algorithms.
- Priority Queue is another application of binary tree that is used for searching maximum or minimum in O(1) time complexity.
Binary Tree Traversals:
- PreOrder Traversal: Here, the traversal is: root – left child – right child. It means that the root node is traversed first then its left child and finally the right child.
- InOrder Traversal: Here, the traversal is: left child – root – right child. It means that the left child is traversed first then its root node and finally the right child.
- PostOrder Traversal: Here, the traversal is: left child – right child – root. It means that the left child is traversed first then the right child and finally its root node.
Let us traverse the following tree with all the three traversal methods:
Tree ________________ 1 //Root Node / \ 2 3 / \ / \ 4 5 6 7 //Leaf Nodes
PreOrder Traversal of the above tree: 1-2-4-5-3-6-7
InOrder Traversal of the above tree: 4-2-5-1-6-3-7
PostOrder Traversal of the above tree: 4-5-2-6-7-3-1
First Simple Tree
Let us create a simple tree with 4 nodes. The created tree would be as follows.
tree ---- 1 <-- root / \ 2 3 / 4
Summary: Tree is a hierarchical data structure. Main uses of trees include maintaining hierarchical data, providing moderate access and insert/delete operations. Binary trees are special cases of tree where every node has at most two children.
Below are set 2 and set 3 of this post.
Properties of Binary Tree
Types of Binary Tree
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