DATA STRUCTURES

Linear Linked List

The element can be inserted in linked list in 2 ways :

  • Insertion at beginning of the list.
  • Insertion at the end of the list.

We will also be adding some more useful methods like :

  • Checking whether Linked List is empty or not.
  • Searching any element in the Linked List
  • Deleting a particular Node from the List

Before inserting the node in the list we will create a class Node. Like shown below :

class Node {
  public:
  int data;
  //pointer to the next node
  node* next;
  
  node() {
    data = 0;
    next = NULL;
  }
  
  node(int x) {
    data = x;
    next = NULL;
  }
} 

We can also make the properties data and next as private, in that case we will need to add the getter and setter methods to access them. You can add the getters and setter like this :

int getData() {
  return data;
}

void setData(int x) {
  this.data = x;
}

node* getNext() {
  return next;
}

void setNext(node *n) {
  this.next = n;
}

Node class basically creates a node for the data which you enter to be included into Linked List. Once the node is created, we use various functions to fit in that node into the Linked List.


Linked List class

As we are following the complete OOPS methodology, hence we will create a separate class for Linked List, which will have all its methods. Following will be the Linked List class :

class LinkedList {
  public:
  node *head;
  //declaring the functions
  
  //function to add Node at front
  int addAtFront(node *n);
  //function to check whether Linked list is empty
  int isEmpty();
  //function to add Node at the End of list
  int addAtEnd(node *n);
  //function to search a value
  node* search(int k);
  //function to delete any Node
  node* deleteNode(int x);
  
  LinkedList() {
    head = NULL;
  }
}

Insertion at the Beginning

Steps to insert a Node at beginning :

  1. The first Node is the Head for any Linked List.
  2. When a new Linked List is instantiated, it just has the Head, which is Null.
  3. Else, the Head holds the pointer to the first Node of the List.
  4. When we want to add any Node at the front, we must make the head point to it.
  5. And the Next pointer of the newly added Node, must point to the previous Head, whether it be NULL(in case of new List) or the pointer to the first Node of the List.
  6. The previous Head Node is now the second Node of Linked List, because the new Node is added at the front.
int LinkedList :: addAtFront(node *n) {
  int i = 0;
  //making the next of the new Node point to Head
  n->next = head;
  //making the new Node as Head
  head = n;
  i++;
  //returning the position where Node is added
  return i;
}

Inserting at the End

Steps to insert a Node at the end :

  1. If the Linked List is empty then we simply, add the new Node as the Head of the Linked List.
  2. If the Linked List is not empty then we find the last node, and make it' next to the new Node, hence making the new node the last Node.
int LinkedList :: addAtEnd(node *n) {
  //If list is empty
  if(head == NULL) {
    //making the new Node as Head
    head = n;
    //making the next pointe of the new Node as Null
    n->next = NULL;
  }
  else {
    //getting the last node
    node *n2 = getLastNode();
    n2->next = n;
  } 
}

node* LinkedList :: getLastNode() {
  //creating a pointer pointing to Head
  node* ptr = head;
  //Iterating over the list till the node whose Next pointer points to null
  //Return that node, because that will be the last node.
  while(ptr->next!=NULL) {
    //if Next is not Null, take the pointer one step forward
    ptr = ptr->next;
  }
  return ptr;
}

Searching for an Element in the List

In searhing we do not have to do much, we just need to traverse like we did while getting the last node, in this case we will also compare the data of the Node. If we get the Node with the same data, we will return it, otherwise we will make our pointer point the next Node, and so on.

node* LinkedList :: search(int x) {
  node *ptr = head;
  while(ptr != NULL && ptr->data != x) {
    //until we reach the end or we find a Node with data x, we keep moving
    ptr = ptr->next;
  }
  return ptr;
}

Deleting a Node from the List

Deleting a node can be done in many ways, like we first search the Node with data which we want to delete and then we delete it. In our approach, we will define a method which will take the data to be deleted as argument, will use the search method to locate it and will then remove the Node from the List.

To remove any Node from the list, we need to do the following :

  • If the Node to be deleted is the first node, then simply set the Next pointer of the Head to point to the next element from the Node to be deleted.
  • If the Node is in the middle somewhere, then find the Node before it, and make the Node before it point to the Node next to it.
node* LinkedList :: deleteNode(int x) {
  //searching the Node with data x
  node *n = search(x);
  node *ptr = head;
  if(ptr == n) {
    ptr->next = n->next;
    return n;
  }
  else {
    while(ptr->next != n) {
      ptr = ptr->next;
    }
    ptr->next = n->next;
    return n;
  }
}

Checking whether the List is empty or not

We just need to check whether the Head of the List is NULL or not.

int LinkedList :: isEmpty() {
  if(head == NULL) {
    return 1;
  }
  else { return 0; }
}

Now you know a lot about how to handle List, how to traverse it, how to search an element. You can yourself try to write new methods around the List.

If you are still figuring out, how to call all these methods, then below is how your main() method will look like. As we have followed OOP standards, we will create the objects of LinkedList class to initialize our List and then we will create objects of Node class whenever we want to add any new node to the List.

int main() {
  LinkedList L;
  //We will ask value from user, read the value and add the value to our Node
  int x;
  cout << "Please enter an integer value : ";
  cin >> x;
  Node *n1;
  //Creating a new node with data as x
  n1 = new Node(x);
  //Adding the node to the list
  L.addAtFront(n1);
}

Similarly you can call any of the functions of the LinkedList class, add as many Nodes you want to your List.