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How do Dynamic arrays work?

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 18 Nov, 2022
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A Dynamic array (vector in C++, ArrayList in Java) automatically grows when we try to make an insertion and there is no more space left for the new item. Usually the area doubles in size. A simple dynamic array can be constructed by allocating an array of fixed-size, typically larger than the number of elements immediately required. The elements of the dynamic array are stored contiguously at the start of the underlying array, and the remaining positions towards the end of the underlying array are reserved, or unused. Elements can be added at the end of a dynamic array in constant time by using the reserved space until this space is completely consumed. When all space is consumed, and an additional element is to be added, the underlying fixed-sized array needs to be increased in size. Typically resizing is expensive because you have to allocate a bigger array and copy over all of the elements from the array you have overgrow before we can finally append our item. Approach: When we enter an element in array but array is full then you create a function, this function creates a new array double size or as you wish and copy all element from the previous array to a new array and return this new array. Also, we can reduce the size of the array. and add an element at a given position, remove the element at the end default and at the position also.

Key Features of Dynamic Array

Add Element: Add element at the end if the array size is not enough then extend the size of the array and add an element at the end of the original array as well as given index. Doing all that copying takes O(n) time, where n is the number of elements in our array. That’s an expensive cost for an append. In a fixed-length array, appends only take O(1) time. But appends take O(n) time only when we insert into a full array. And that is pretty rare, especially if we double the size of the array every time we run out of space. So in most cases appending is still O(1) time, and sometimes it’s O(n) time. In dynamic array you can create fixed-size array when required added some more element in array then use this approach: Delete Element: Delete an element from array, default remove() method delete an element from end, simply store zero at last index and you also delete element at specific index by calling removeAt(i) method where i is index. removeAt(i) method shift all right element in the left side from the given index. Resize of Array Size: When the array has null/zero data (aside from an element added by you) at the right side of the array, meaning it has unused memory, the method shrinkSize() can free up the extra memory. When all space is consumed, and an additional element is to be added, then the underlying fixed-size array needs to increase in size. Typically resizing is expensive because you have to allocate a bigger array and copy over all of the elements from the array you have outgrown before we can finally append our item. Simple code for dynamic array. In below code then the array will become full of size we copy all element to new double size array(variable size array).sample code is below 

Java




// Java program deals with all operation of a dynamic array
// add, remove, resize memory of array is the main feature
public class DynamicArray {
 
    // create three variable array[] is a array,
    // count will deal with no of element add by you and
    // size will with size of array[]
    private int array[];
    private int count;
    private int size;
    // constructor initialize value to variable
 
    public DynamicArray()
    {
        array = new int[1];
        count = 0;
        size = 1;
    }
    // function add an element at the end of array
 
    public void add(int data)
    {
 
        // check no of element is equal to size of array
        if (count == size) {
            growSize(); // make array size double
        } // insert element at end of array
        array[count] = data;
        count++;
    }
 
    // function makes size double of array
    public void growSize()
    {
 
        int temp[] = null;
        if (count == size) {
 
            // temp is a double size array of array
            // and store array elements
            temp = new int[size * 2];
            {
                for (int i = 0; i < size; i++) {
                    // copy all array value into temp
                    temp[i] = array[i];
                }
            }
        }
 
        // double size array temp initialize
        // into variable array again
        array = temp;
        
        // and make size is double also of array
        size = size * 2;
    }
 
    // function shrink size of array
    // which block unnecessary remove them
    public void shrinkSize()
    {
        int temp[] = null;
        if (count > 0) {
 
            // temp is a count size array
            // and store array elements
            temp = new int[count];
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
 
                // copy all array value into temp
                temp[i] = array[i];
            }
 
            size = count;
 
            // count size array temp initialize
            // into variable array again
            array = temp;
        }
    }
    // function add an element at given index
 
    public void addAt(int index, int data)
    {
        // if size is not enough make size double
        if (count == size) {
            growSize();
        }
 
        for (int i = count - 1; i >= index; i--) {
 
            // shift all element right
            // from given index
            array[i + 1] = array[i];
        }
 
        // insert data at given index
        array[index] = data;
        count++;
    }
 
    // function remove last element or put
    // zero at last index
    public void remove()
    {
        if (count > 0) {
            array[count - 1] = 0;
            count--;
        }
    }
 
    // function shift all element of right
    // side from given index in left
    public void removeAt(int index)
    {
        if (count > 0) {
            for (int i = index; i < count - 1; i++) {
 
                // shift all element of right
                // side from given index in left
                array[i] = array[i + 1];
            }
            array[count - 1] = 0;
            count--;
        }
    }
 
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        DynamicArray da = new DynamicArray();
 
        // add 9 elements in array
        da.add(1);
        da.add(2);
        da.add(3);
        da.add(4);
        da.add(5);
        da.add(6);
        da.add(7);
        da.add(8);
        da.add(9);
 
        // print all array elements after add 9 elements
        System.out.println("Elements of array:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++) {
            System.out.print(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        System.out.println();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        System.out.println("Size of array: " + da.size);
        System.out.println("No of elements in array: " +
                                              da.count);
 
        // shrinkSize of array
        da.shrinkSize();
 
        // print all array elements
        System.out.println("Elements of array "+
                   "after shrinkSize of array:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++) {
            System.out.print(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
        System.out.println();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        System.out.println("Size of array: " + da.size);
        System.out.println("No of elements in array: " +
                                               da.count);
 
        // add an element at index 1
        da.addAt(1, 22);
 
        // print Elements of array after adding an
        // element at index 1
        System.out.println("Elements of array after" +
                      " add an element at index 1:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++) {
            System.out.print(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        System.out.println();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        System.out.println("Size of array: " + da.size);
        System.out.println("No of elements in array: " +
                                               da.count);
 
        // delete last element
        da.remove();
 
        // print Elements of array after delete last
        // element
        System.out.println("Elements of array after" +
                              " delete last element:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++) {
            System.out.print(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        System.out.println();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        System.out.println("Size of array: " + da.size);
        System.out.println("No of elements in array: " +
                                              da.count);
 
        // delete element at index 1
        da.removeAt(1);
 
        // print Elements of array after delete
        // an element index 1
        System.out.println("Elements of array after"+
                      " delete element at index 1:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++) {
            System.out.print(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
        System.out.println();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        System.out.println("Size of array: " + da.size);
        System.out.println("No of elements in array: " +
                                               da.count);
    }
}

Python3




# Python 3 program deals with all operation of a dynamic array
# add, remove, resize memory of array is the main feature
class DynamicArray :
   
    # create three variable array[] is a array,
    # count will deal with no of element add by you and
    # size will with size of array[]
    array = None
    count = 0
    size = 0
     
    # constructor initialize value to variable
    def __init__(self) :
        self.array = [0] * (1)
        self.count = 0
        self.size = 1
         
    # function add an element at the end of array
    def add(self, data) :
       
        # check no of element is equal to size of array
        if (self.count == self.size) :
            self.growSize()
             
        # insert element at end of array
        self.array[self.count] = data
        self.count += 1
         
    # function makes size double of array
    def growSize(self) :
        temp = None
        if (self.count == self.size) :
           
            # temp is a double size array of array
            # and store array elements
            temp = [0] * (self.size * 2)
            i = 0
            while (i < self.size) :
               
                # copy all array value into temp
                temp[i] = self.array[i]
                i += 1
                 
        # double size array temp initialize
        # into variable array again
        self.array = temp
         
        # and make size is double also of array
        self.size = self.size * 2
         
    # function shrink size of array
    # which block unnecessary remove them
    def shrinkSize(self) :
        temp = None
        if (self.count > 0) :
           
            # temp is a count size array
            # and store array elements
            temp = [0] * (self.count)
            i = 0
            while (i < self.count) :
               
                # copy all array value into temp
                temp[i] = self.array[i]
                i += 1
            self.size = self.count
             
            # count size array temp initialize
            # into variable array again
            self.array = temp
             
    # function add an element at given index
    def addAt(self, index,  data) :
       
        # if size is not enough make size double
        if (self.count == self.size) :
            self.growSize()
        i = self.count - 1
        while (i >= index) :
           
            # shift all element right
            # from given index
            self.array[i + 1] = self.array[i]
            i -= 1
             
        # insert data at given index
        self.array[index] = data
        self.count += 1
         
    # function remove last element or put
    # zero at last index
    def remove(self) :
        if (self.count > 0) :
            self.array[self.count - 1] = 0
            self.count -= 1
    # function shift all element of right
    # side from given index in left
    def removeAt(self, index) :
        if (self.count > 0) :
            i = index
            while (i < self.count - 1) :
               
                # shift all element of right
                # side from given index in left
                self.array[i] = self.array[i + 1]
                i += 1
            self.array[self.count - 1] = 0
            self.count -= 1
    @staticmethod
    def main( args) :
        da = DynamicArray()
         
        # add 9 elements in array
        da.add(1)
        da.add(2)
        da.add(3)
        da.add(4)
        da.add(5)
        da.add(6)
        da.add(7)
        da.add(8)
        da.add(9)
         
        # print all array elements after add 9 elements
        print("Elements of array:")
        i = 0
        while (i < da.size) :
            print(str(da.array[i]) + " ", end ="")
            i += 1
        print()
         
        # print size of array and no of element
        print("Size of array: " + str(da.size))
        print("No of elements in array: " + str(da.count))
         
        # shrinkSize of array
        da.shrinkSize()
         
        # print all array elements
        print("Elements of array after shrinkSize of array:")
        i = 0
        while (i < da.size) :
            print(str(da.array[i]) + " ", end ="")
            i += 1
        print()
         
        # print size of array and no of element
        print("Size of array: " + str(da.size))
        print("No of elements in array: " + str(da.count))
         
        # add an element at index 1
        da.addAt(1, 22)
         
        # print Elements of array after adding an
        # element at index 1
        print("Elements of array after add an element at index 1:")
        i = 0
        while (i < da.size) :
            print(str(da.array[i]) + " ", end ="")
            i += 1
        print()
         
        # print size of array and no of element
        print("Size of array: " + str(da.size))
        print("No of elements in array: " + str(da.count))
         
        # delete last element
        da.remove()
         
        # print Elements of array after delete last
        # element
        print("Elements of array after delete last element:")
        i = 0
        while (i < da.size) :
            print(str(da.array[i]) + " ", end ="")
            i += 1
        print()
         
        # print size of array and no of element
        print("Size of array: " + str(da.size))
        print("No of elements in array: " + str(da.count))
         
        # delete element at index 1
        da.removeAt(1)
         
        # print Elements of array after delete
        # an element index 1
        print("Elements of array after delete element at index 1:")
        i = 0
        while (i < da.size) :
            print(str(da.array[i]) + " ", end ="")
            i += 1
        print()
         
        # print size of array and no of element
        print("Size of array: " + str(da.size))
        print("No of elements in array: " + str(da.count))
     
# Driver code
if __name__=="__main__":
    DynamicArray.main([])
     
    # This code is contributed by aadityaburujwale.

C#




// C# program deals with all operation
// of dynamic array add, remove, resize
// memory of array is the main feature
using System;
 
public class DynamicArray
{
 
    // create three variable array[] is
    // a array, count will deal with no
    // of element add by you and
    // size will with size of array[]
    private int []array;
    private int count;
    private int size;
     
    // constructor initialize value to variable
    public DynamicArray()
    {
        array = new int[1];
        count = 0;
        size = 1;
    }
 
    // function add an element at the end of array
    public void add(int data)
    {
 
        // check no of element is equal to size of array
        if (count == size)
        {
            growSize(); // make array size double
        }
         
        // insert element at end of array
        array[count] = data;
        count++;
    }
 
    // function makes size double of array
    public void growSize()
    {
 
        int []temp = null;
        if (count == size)
        {
 
            // temp is a double size array of array
            // and store array elements
            temp = new int[size * 2];
            {
                for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
                {
                    // copy all array value into temp
                    temp[i] = array[i];
                }
            }
        }
 
        // double size array temp initialize
        // into variable array again
        array = temp;
         
        // and make size is double also of array
        size = size * 2;
    }
 
    // function shrink size of array
    // which block unnecessary remove them
    public void shrinkSize()
    {
        int []temp = null;
        if (count > 0)
        {
 
            // temp is a count size array
            // and store array elements
            temp = new int[count];
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
            {
 
                // copy all array value into temp
                temp[i] = array[i];
            }
 
            size = count;
 
            // count size array temp initialize
            // into variable array again
            array = temp;
        }
    }
     
    // function add an element at given index
    public void addAt(int index, int data)
    {
        // if size is not enough make size double
        if (count == size)
        {
            growSize();
        }
 
        for (int i = count - 1; i >= index; i--)
        {
 
            // shift all element right
            // from given index
            array[i + 1] = array[i];
        }
 
        // insert data at given index
        array[index] = data;
        count++;
    }
 
    // function remove last element or put
    // zero at last index
    public void remove()
    {
        if (count > 0)
        {
            array[count - 1] = 0;
            count--;
        }
    }
 
    // function shift all element of right
    // side from given index in left
    public void removeAt(int index)
    {
        if (count > 0)
        {
            for (int i = index; i < count - 1; i++)
            {
 
                // shift all element of right
                // side from given index in left
                array[i] = array[i + 1];
            }
            array[count - 1] = 0;
            count--;
        }
    }
 
    // Driver code
    public static void Main()
    {
        DynamicArray da = new DynamicArray();
 
        // add 9 elements in array
        da.add(1);
        da.add(2);
        da.add(3);
        da.add(4);
        da.add(5);
        da.add(6);
        da.add(7);
        da.add(8);
        da.add(9);
 
        // print all array elements after add 9 elements
        Console.WriteLine("Elements of array:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++)
        {
            Console.Write(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        Console.WriteLine();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        Console.WriteLine("Size of array: " + da.size);
        Console.WriteLine("No of elements in array: " +
                                            da.count);
 
        // shrinkSize of array
        da.shrinkSize();
 
        // print all array elements
        Console.WriteLine("Elements of array "+
                "after shrinkSize of array:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++)
        {
            Console.Write(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
        Console.WriteLine();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        Console.WriteLine("Size of array: " + da.size);
        Console.WriteLine("No of elements in array: " +
                                            da.count);
 
        // add an element at index 1
        da.addAt(1, 22);
 
        // print Elements of array after adding an
        // element at index 1
        Console.WriteLine("Elements of array after" +
                    " add an element at index 1:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++)
        {
            Console.Write(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        Console.WriteLine();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        Console.WriteLine("Size of array: " + da.size);
        Console.WriteLine("No of elements in array: " +
                                            da.count);
 
        // delete last element
        da.remove();
 
        // print Elements of array after delete last
        // element
        Console.WriteLine("Elements of array after" +
                            " delete last element:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++)
        {
            Console.Write(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
 
        Console.WriteLine();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        Console.WriteLine("Size of array: " + da.size);
        Console.WriteLine("No of elements in array: " +
                                            da.count);
 
        // delete element at index 1
        da.removeAt(1);
 
        // print Elements of array after delete
        // an element index 1
        Console.WriteLine("Elements of array after"+
                    " delete element at index 1:");
        for (int i = 0; i < da.size; i++)
        {
            Console.Write(da.array[i] + " ");
        }
        Console.WriteLine();
 
        // print size of array and no of element
        Console.WriteLine("Size of array: " + da.size);
        Console.WriteLine("No of elements in array: " +
                                            da.count);
    }
}
 
/* This code contributed by PrinciRaj1992 */

Output:

Elements of array:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 
Size of array: 16
No of elements in array: 9
Elements of array after shrinkSize of array:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 
Size of array: 9
No of elements in array: 9
Elements of array after add an element at index 1:
1 22 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 
Size of array: 18
No of elements in array: 10
Elements of array after delete last element:
1 22 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 
Size of array: 18
No of elements in array: 9
Elements of array after delete element at index 1:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 
Size of array: 18
No of elements in array: 8

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