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Breadth First Search without using Queue

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 09 Aug, 2021

Breadth-first search is a graph traversal algorithm which traverse a graph or tree level by level. In this article, BFS for a Graph is implemented using Adjacency list without using a Queue.


Output: BFS traversal = 2, 0, 3, 1 
In the following graph, we start traversal from vertex 2. When we come to vertex 0, we look for all adjacent vertices of it. 2 is also an adjacent vertex of 0. If we don’t mark visited vertices, then 2 will be processed again and it will become a non-terminating process. Therefore, a Breadth-First Traversal of the following graph is 2, 0, 3, 1. 


Approach: This problem can be solved using simple breadth-first traversal from a given source. The implementation uses adjacency list representation of graphs

  • STL Vector container is used to store lists of adjacent nodes and queue of nodes needed for BFS traversal. 
  • A DP array is used to store the distance of the nodes from the source. Every time we move from a node to another node, the distance increases by 1. If the distance to reach the nodes becomes smaller than the previous distance, we update the value stored in the DP[node].

Below is the implementation of the above approach:


// C++ implementation to demonstrate
// the above mentioned approach
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
// Function to find the distance
// from the source to other nodes
void BFS(int curr, int N, vector<bool>& vis,
         vector<int>& dp, vector<int>& v,
         vector<vector<int> >& adj)
    while (curr <= N) {
        // Current node
        int node = v[curr - 1];
        cout << node << ", ";
        for (int i = 0; i < adj[node].size(); i++) {
            // Adjacent node
            int next = adj[node][i];
            if ((!vis[next])
                && (dp[next] < dp[node] + 1)) {
                // Stores the adjacent node
                // Increases the distance
                dp[next] = dp[node] + 1;
                // Mark it as visited
                vis[next] = true;
        curr += 1;
// Function to print the distance
// from source to other nodes
void bfsTraversal(
    vector<vector<int> >& adj,
    int N, int source)
    // Initially mark all nodes as false
    vector<bool> vis(N + 1, false);
    // Initialize distance array with 0
    vector<int> dp(N + 1, 0), v;
    // Initially mark the starting
    // source as 0 and visited as true
    dp = 0;
    vis = true;
    // Call the BFS function
    BFS(1, N, vis, dp, v, adj);
// Driver code
int main()
    // No. of nodes in graph
    int N = 4;
    // Creating adjacency list
    // for representing graph
    vector<vector<int> > adj(N + 1);
    // Following is BFS Traversal
    // starting from vertex 2
    bfsTraversal(adj, N, 2);
    return 0;
2, 0, 3, 1,


Time Complexity: O(V + E), where V is the number of vertices and E is the number of edges.
Auxiliary Space: O(V)

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