Difference between Linear and Non Linear Data Structure

Here you will learn about difference between linear and non linear data structure.

Data structures are basically a way of storing and logically implementing the data elements. These elements need to be stored in a way which makes them orderly and organized. Apart from the primitive data structures which include the int, char, float, double etc., the non primitive data structures are also important and definitely play a crucial role for storing and retrieving the data structures. The non primitive data structures can broadly be classified into two types:

  • Linear Data Structure
  • Non-Linear Data Structure

Although, both are non-primitive data types, yet they hold a majority of differences between them, these differences can better be understood by reading the following points.

Difference between Linear and Non Linear Data Structure

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Difference between Linear and Non Linear Data Structure

Linear Data Structure Non Linear Data Structure
The elements are inserted adjacent to each other and can also be retrieved similarly.



Elements which are stored in a non linear data structure have certain relationship among them while being stored or retrieved. There is a certain definite pattern which always govern the addition of a new element to the structure
Data elements are easy to be retrieved as they can be just accessed in one run. Data elements are not easy to be retrieved or stored as they follow a strict relationship among the various elements.
The Linear Data Structures are comparatively simpler and provide a certain ease of working with. The Non Linear Data Structures are complex data structures which can prove to be tricky to an extent.
These do not provide us with efficient memory utilization. Efficient memory utilization is experienced while working with the non linear data structures.
Examples: Linked List, Stack, Queue etc. Examples: Trees, graphs etc.

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