Advantages, Disadvantages, And Uses Of a Doubly Linked List

A data structure called a doubly linked list comprises a series of entries, each of which references the element before it and the element before it. This makes traversal in both directions efficient.

Advantages of Doubly Linked List:

  • One of its main features is a doubly linked list’s ability to traverse both directions efficiently. Each node in the list carries a link to the node before it and the node after it, making it simple to go forward and backward across the list. Numerous applications and techniques can benefit from this bidirectional traversal ability.
  • The former makes efficient insertion and deletion operations possible by comparing doubly linked lists to arrays or singly linked lists. Only the references to the surrounding nodes need to be changed when adding or removing a node, which may be done constantly. Due to this benefit, doubly linked lists are a good option when frequent element insertion or deletion is necessary.
  • Doubly linked lists also make it simple to reach the primary node from a given node, in addition, to forward traversal. This capability is especially helpful when using methods that need backtracking or when a specific action necessitates access to the last piece. Such procedures are made simpler by each node having a backward link.
  • They are frequently employed, for instance, in constructing linked hash tables and double-ended queues (deques). Doubly linked lists offer the properties required for these sophisticated data structures, such as effective insertion and deletion at both ends.
  • Doubly linked lists provide flexibility in iterating over the members because of bidirectional traversal. Depending on the application’s needs, iteration can begin at either end of the list. This adaptability might be useful when creating algorithms that entail both forward and backward processing of components.
  • A doubly linked list’s items can be effectively reversed with little difficulty. To reverse the list in linear time, this operation includes switching each node’s previous and next references. Reversing a doubly linked list might be helpful when using specific methods or when reverse processing is necessary.

Disadvantages of Doubly Linked List:

  • Doubly linked lists add complexity to the system in terms of implementation and administration because each node must keep references to the previous and subsequent nodes. This increased complexity may result in more flaws and complicate the debugging and implementation processes.
  • The higher time complexity for some operations: Although doubly linked lists provide efficient insertion and deletion operations, some operations may be more time-consuming than others when using doubly linked lists. For instance, a doubly linked list search for a given node or element necessitates iterating the list from one end to the other until the sought-after element is located, resulting in linear time complexity.
  • Inefficiency for sequential access: Doubly linked lists might not be the best option if sequential access to items is the main need of a data structure.
  • Additional maintenance burden: Compared to singly linked lists, doubly linked lists require more operations to maintain the linkages between the nodes. To guarantee good connection, insertion and deletion procedures include changing the neighbours’ nodes’ references.

Uses of Doubly Linked List:

Doubly linked lists serve as the basis for implementing more complicated data structures. Such as,

Queues: Doubly linked lists are excellent for building double-ended queues (deques) because they permit efficient insertion and deletion operations at both ends of the list.
Linked hash tables: Doubly linked lists, which offer chaining or distinct chaining mechanisms, can be utilized to handle collisions in hash table implementations.

Implementing undo/redo capability in apps is made possible by doubly linked lists. Users may navigate back and forth over the history of activities since each node in the list represents a state or action.

Doubly linked lists are used to accomplish the functionality of the browser history. A node in the list represents each page that has been visited, allowing users to move forward and backwards through their browsing history.

Implementations of caches use doubly linked lists, where recently used entries are kept at the head of the list for easy access. New components may be added to the front of the list as they are accessed, and the least utilized ones can be taken out of the list’s tail.

Algorithms for doubly linked lists: Specific double-linked list features are used by some algorithms.

For example:

Doubly linked lists can detect palindromes by determining whether a series of entries is a palindrome. Bidirectional traversal makes comparing items from both ends of the list simple.

Check if a doubly linked list of characters is palindrome or not

class Node:
    def __init__(self, data): = data
        self.prev = None = None

def is_palindrome(head):
    if not head:
        return True
    # Find the tail of the list
    tail = head
        tail =
    # Traverse the list from both ends and compare characters
    while head != tail and ==
        head =
        tail = tail.prev
    # If head and tail meet, the list is a palindrome
    return head == tail

# Create a doubly linked list
def create_doubly_linked_list(chars):
    if not chars:
        return None
    head = Node(chars[0])
    prev = head
    for i in range(1, len(chars)):
        new_node = Node(chars[i])
        new_node.prev = prev = new_node
        prev = new_node
    return head

# Test the function
chars1 = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'b', 'a']
chars2 = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']

# Create doubly linked lists
head1 = create_doubly_linked_list(chars1)
head2 = create_doubly_linked_list(chars2)

# Check if they are palindromes
print(is_palindrome(head1))  # Output: True
print(is_palindrome(head2))  # Output: False

Linked lists can be efficiently reversed by switching the previous and next references for each node in a doubly linked list.

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