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1. Introduction to Tree

If data has a hierarchy to it, then the abstract tree data structure is an excellent one to use as it maintains the original organisation of the data.

For example all animals can be classified within the standard tree of life that biologist use to show how species are related. Part of it is shown below. A lion is class: mammal, order: carniovora, genus Panthera, species: leo. The tiger is also of genus Panthera, showing that lion and tiger are related. This organisation can be modelled as a tree structure.

Another important use of tree is if the data needs to searched. For example the program might load the text of a book that then needs to have a search facility to find any word. A tree can be used for this task.

Database systems make extensive use of trees to index their data.

Tree is a specific type of the more general graph data structure. We have a full section on graph here.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: uses of tree