Circular Linked List Application & Pros/Cons

circular linked ist

What is a circular linked list?

A circular linked list is similar to the single linked list except that the last node points to the first node in the list. This means that circular linked list is a sequence of elements in which every element has link to its next element in the sequence and the last element has a link to the first element in the sequence.

Applications of Circular Linked List

A Circular Linked List can be used for the following –

  • Circular lists are used in applications where the entire list is accessed one-by-one in a loop.
  • It is also used by the Operating system to share time for different users, generally uses a Round-Robin time-sharing mechanism.
  • Multiplayer games use a circular list to swap between players in a loop.
  • Implementation of Advanced data structures like Fibonacci Heap
  • The browser cache which allows you to hit the BACK button
  • Undo functionality in Photoshop or Word
  • Circular linked lists are used in Round Robin Scheduling
  • Circular linked list used Most recent list (MRU LIST)

Advantage of circular linked list

  • Entire list can be traversed from any node of the list.
  • It saves time when we have to go to the first node from the last node.
  • Its is used for the implementation of queue.
  • Reference to previous node can easily be found.
  • When we want a list to be accessed in a circle or loop then circular linked list are used.

Disadvantage of circular linked list

  • Circular list are complex as compared to singly linked lists.
  • Reversing of circular list is a complex as compared to singly or doubly lists.
  • If not traversed carefully, then we could end up in an infinite loop.
  • Like singly and doubly lists circular linked lists also doesn’t support direct accessing of elements.

What is the benefit of a circularly linked list over singly linked list in search applications?

  • If your program wants to access items of Linked List over and over again in a loop. Such processes do exist in OS, where some list of system processes must be implemented in loop one by one
  • These are round-robin type of OS scheduling algorithms
  • Any node can be the starting point since, we can access all nodes from anywhere, unlike a singly linked list where we must only start from the head node if we want to access all nodes.
  • The fibonacci heap can be implemented via Circular Linked List
Quiz time

Quiz Time

Question 1. A circular Linked List can be used for –

  1. Stack
  2. Queue
  3. Both Stack & Queue
  4. Neither Stack or Queue

(Persistent System – Test)

Both Stack & Queue

Since in in stack the deletion happens at the top (lastly entered node) and in queue the deletion happens at front (firstly entered node)

In a circular Linked List deletion can happen at front and end both and even traversal so we can use a circular queue to implement both stack and queue.

Also, a circular linked list can be used to implement advanced data structures like Fibonacci Heap.

Linked Lists

Linked List is one of the most crucial topics which is easy once understood thoroughly. This topic is very important for both your college semester examinations as well as for placement purposes.

Singly Linked List

  • Introduction to Linked List in Data Structure
  • Linked List in – C | C++ | Java
  • Singly Linked List in – C | C++ | Java
  • Insertion in singly Linked List – C | C++ | Java
    • Insertion at beginning in singly Linked List  – C | C++Java
    • Insertion at nth position in singly Linked List  – C | C++Java
    • Insertion at end in singly Linked List  – C | C++Java
  • Deletion in singly Linked List  – C | C++Java
    • Deletion from beginning in singly linked list : C | C++ | Java
    • Deletion from nth position in singly linked list : C | C++ | Java
    • Deletion from end in singly linked list : C | C++ | Java
  • Reverse a linked list without changing links between nodes (Data reverse only) – C | C++Java
  • Reverse a linked list by changing links between nodes – C | C++Java
  • Print reverse of a linked list without actually reversing – C |C++Java
  • Search an element in a linked list – C | C++Java
  • Insertion in a Sorted Linked List – C | C++Java
  • Delete alternate nodes of a Linked List – C | C++Java
  • Find middle of the linked list – C | C++Java
  • Reverse a linked list in groups of given size – C | C++Java
  • Find kth node from end of the linked list – C | C++Java
  • Append the last n nodes of a linked list to the beginning of the list – C | C++Java
  • Check whether linked list is palindrome or not – C | C++Java
  • Fold a Linked List – C | C++Java

Doubly Linked List

Circular Linked List

Operating System Process Synchornization