Introduction to Standard Template Library

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The Standard Template Library (STL) is a powerful collection of classes and functions in C++ that provides reusable, generic algorithms, containers, and iterators. It’s an essential component of modern C++ programming and offers a wealth of functionality to simplify and enhance your code.

Key Components of STL:

  1. Containers:
    Containers are objects that store collections of other objects. They provide a way to organize and manipulate data efficiently. STL provides several container classes, each with its unique characteristics:
    – Vector: Dynamic array that automatically adjusts its size.
    – List: Doubly linked list that allows for fast insertions and deletions anywhere in the list.
    – Deque: Double-ended queue that supports fast insertion and deletion at both ends.
    – Set: Collection of unique, sorted elements.
    – Map: Collection of key-value pairs, where each key is unique.
    – Stack: Container with Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) access.
    – Queue: Container with First-In-First-Out (FIFO) access.
  2. Iterators:
    Iterators are objects that allow traversal through the elements of a container. They act as pointers and provide a uniform way to access the elements regardless of the underlying container implementation. There are different types of iterators:
    – Input iterators: Allow reading elements from a container.
    – Output iterators: Allow writing elements to a container.
    – Forward iterators: Support forward traversal.
    – Bidirectional iterators: Support bidirectional traversal (forward and backward).
    – Random access iterators: Support random access to elements (e.g., accessing elements by index).
  3. Algorithms:
    Algorithms are functions that operate on containers through iterators. They perform various operations such as searching, sorting, modifying, and manipulating elements in containers. STL provides a wide range of algorithms for common tasks, including:
    – Sorting: Sort elements in a container.
    – Searching: Search for elements in a container.
    – Transforming: Modify elements in a container based on certain criteria.
    – Copying: Copy elements between containers.
    – Merging: Merge elements from multiple containers into one sorted container.
    And many more…

Types of Container

  1. Simple
    – Pair
  2. Sequence
    – Array
    – Vector
    – Deque
    – List
    – Forward list
  3. Associative
    – Map
    – Multimap
    – Set
    – Multiset
  4. Unordered
    – Unordered set
    – Unordered multiset
    – Unordered map
    – Unordered multimap
  5. Adapter
    – Stack
    – Queue
    – Priority queue
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