Applications of Queue Data Structure


A queue is basically a linear data structure that works on the principle of FIFO (First in First out) which means an element that is enqueued first will be dequeued first. Element is enqueued from the rear end of the queue and dequeued from the front end. The insertion operation in the queue is known as enqueue and the deletion operation in the queue is known as dequeue.

The queue is used when the operations are to be performed in the manner of First in First out order just like Breadth-First Search.

For example, there is a line of people in front of the counter in the bank. They will visit the counter by following the queue property i.e. the person who is standing in front will visit the counter first.

Here are some scenarios for the usage of Queue:

  1. When any resource is shared among multiple consumers. Then the process of using the resource is done using the queue. For example, CPU scheduling, Disk scheduling etc.
  2. The queue is used in the implementation of various other data structures deque, priority queue, doubly ended priority queue.
  3. In networks, there are mail queues and queues in routers/switches.
  4. In operating systems, queues are used in
    • Semaphores
    • Spooling in printers
    • FCFS (First come First serve) scheduling, example: FIFO queue
    • Buffer for devices like keyboards.
  5. In the case of transferring the data asynchronously (i.e. it is not necessary to receive and send the data at the same rate) between two processes. For example, IO Buffers, pipes, file IO, etc.

Some other applications of queue data structure:

  • Applied as buffers on playing music in the mp3 players or CD players.
  • Applied on handling the interruption in the operating system.
  • Applied to add a song at the end of the playlist.
  • Applied as the waiting queue for using the single shared resources like CPU, Printers, or Disk.
  • Applied to the chat application when someone sends messages to us and we don’t have an internet connection then the messages are stored in the server of the chat application.

This article tried to discuss Applications of Queue Data Structure. Hope this blog helps you understand the concept. To practice more problems feel free to check MYCODE | Competitive Programming at Prepbytes.

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