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What is a data structure?

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In computer science, a data structure is a way of storing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently. Often a carefully chosen data structure will allow a more efficient algorithm to be used. The choice of the data structure often begins from the choice of an abstract data structure. A well-designed data structure allows a variety of critical operations to be performed on using as little resources, both execution time and memory space, as possible.

Different kinds of data structures are suited to different kinds of applications, and some are highly specialized to certain tasks.

refer guide :http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Data_Structures