The main difference between array and stack is that an array stores elements of the same type while a stack stores elements of different types.
A data structure is a way of storing data elements in computer memory. There are two types of data structures as linear and nonlinear data structures. Linear data structures store data in a sequential manner. Array and stack are two common linear data structures.
Key Areas Covered
Array, Linear Data Structure, Stack
What is Array
An array is a data structure that stores data elements of the same type. Each element has an index. The index of the 1st element is 0. If the array size is 10, the index of the last element is 9. All memory elements are stored in contiguous memory locations. The lowest element corresponds to the first element whereas the highest element corresponds to the last element. Additionally, the array size is fixed. Therefore, it is not possible to store more elements than the declared array size. Some common operations of an array are inserting, deleting elements, modify elements, traversing through elements, merging arrays, etc.
We call a usual array an unordered array. An array in which the elements are arranged in a stored order is called an ordered array. Furthermore, there are multidimensional arrays. They store data in a tabular format with rows and columns.
What is Stack
A stack is a data structure similar to real-world stacks such as a deck of cards, a pile of plates, etc. In a stack, only one element can be read at a given time. Main operations on a stack are pop, push and peek. Pop refers to placing an element at the top of the stack while push refers to removing the top element from the stack. Moreover, peek is to read the top element without removing from the stack. When the stack is full, we cannot insert elements. Furthermore, when there are no elements in the stack, the stack is empty.
Furthermore, stack works according to the “First In Last Out (FILO)” storage mechanism. Therefore, the last inserted element is the first element to eliminate from the stack.
Difference Between Array and Stack
An array is a data structure consisting of a collection of elements each identified by the array index. In contrast, a stack is an abstract data type that serves as a collection of elements with two principal operations: push and pop. Thus, this is the main difference between Array and Stack.
Also, another difference between Array and Stack is that an array contains elements of the same data type while a stack contains elements of different data types.
Furthermore, basic operations of an array include insert, delete, modify, traverse, sort, search and merge while basic operations of the stack are push, pop and peek.
In an array, any element can be accessed using the array index. However, in a stack, only the topmost element can be read or removed at a time. Hence, this is also a difference between Array and Stack.
In brief, array and stack are two major data structures. The main difference between Array and Stack is that Array stores elements of the same type while Stack stores elements of different types.