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Static Data Structure vs Dynamic Data Structure

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 13 Mar, 2018

Data structure is a way of storing and organising data efficiently such that the required operations on them can be performed be efficient with respect to time as well as memory. Simply, Data Structure are used to reduce complexity (mostly the time complexity) of the code.

Data structures can be two types :
1. Static Data Structure
2. Dynamic Data Structure

What is a Static Data structure?
In Static data structure the size of the structure is fixed. The content of the data structure can be modified but without changing the memory space allocated to it.

Example of Static Data Structures: Array

What is Dynamic Data Structure?
In Dynamic data structure the size of the structure in not fixed and can be modified during the operations performed on it. Dynamic data structures are designed to facilitate change of data structures in the run time.

Example of Dynamic Data Structures: Linked List

Static Data Structure vs Dynamic Data Structure
Static Data structure has fixed memory size whereas in Dynamic Data Structure, the size can be randomly updated during run time which may be considered efficient with respect to memory complexity of the code. Static Data Structure provides more easier access to elements with respect to dynamic data structure. Unlike static data structures, dynamic data structures are flexible.

Use of Dynamic Data Structure in Competitive Programming
In competitive programming the constraints on memory limit is not much high and we cannot exceed the memory limit. Given higher value of the constraints we cannot allocate a static data structure of that size so Dynamic Data Structures can be useful.

Also, please refer Linked List vs Array for more information.

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