Array vs. ordinary variable, Data Structure & Algorithms

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Q. Describe what do you understand by the term array? How does an array vary from an ordinary variable? How are the arrays represented in the specific memory?                                    

Ans.

Array Vs. Ordinary Variable is explained as follows

Array is made from the similar data structure that exists in any language. Array is the set of similar or alike data types. Array is the collection of similar or alike elements. These similar or alike elements could be all int or all float or all char etc. Array of char is called as string. All elements of the given array should be of same type. An array is finite ordered set of the homogeneous elements. The number of elements in the array is pre- determined.

For example.  Ordinary variable: - int a

Array:      -      int a[10]

An ordinary variable of a simple data type can save a single element only

Representation of Array in memory is shown below

Assume a be a 2 dimensional m x n array

 

 

Col 0

Col 1

Col 2

 

Row 0

 

a00

 

a01

 

a02

 

Row 1

 

a10

 

a11

 

a12

 

Row 2

 

a20

 

a21

 

a22

 

Though  a  is  pictured  as  a  rectangular pattern  with  in  row  and  n  column  it  is represented in memory or a particular location by a row of m x n  elements. Sequential memory locations the element can be saved in row major order.

Column major order is explained as follows:- the elements are saved column by column i.e. m elements of the 1st column is saved in first m locations, elements of the 2nd column are saved in next m location and so on..

1545_column major.png

Row major order is shown below:-

The elements are saved row by row ie. N elements of the 1st row are saved in 1st n location, elements of 2nd row are saved in next n location, and so on

1808_row major.png


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