Intro DS: Stacks


Here is a good overview of Stacks and Queues

The following explanation is taken from Wikipedia:

In computer science, a stack is a particular kind of abstract data type or collection in which the principal (or only) operations on the collection are the addition of an entity to the collection, known as push and removal of an entity, known as pop. The relation between the push and pop operations is such that the stack is a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) data structure. In a LIFO data structure, the last element added to the structure must be the first one to be removed. This is equivalent to the requirement that, considered as a linear data structure, or more abstractly a sequential collection, the push and pop operations occur only at one end of the structure, referred to as the top of the stack. Often a peekor top operation is also implemented, returning the value of the top element without removing it.

A stack may be implemented to have a bounded capacity. If the stack is full and does not contain enough space to accept an entity to be pushed, the stack is then considered to be in an overflow state. The pop operation removes an item from the top of the stack. A pop either reveals previously concealed items or results in an empty stack, but, if the stack is empty, it goes into underflow state, which means no items are present in stack to be removed.

A stack is a restricted data structure, because only a small number of operations are performed on it. The nature of the pop and push operations also means that stack elements have a natural order. Elements are removed from the stack in the reverse order to the order of their addition. Therefore, the lower elements are those that have been on the stack the longest.