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A tree is a widely used abstract data type (ADT). It simulates a hierarchical tree structure, with a root element and subtrees.


Term Description
Root The top node in a tree
Child A node connected "below" another node
Parent The node "above" another node
Siblings Nodes with the same parent
Descendant A node somewhere "below" the current node
Ancestor A node somewhere "above" the current node
Leaf A node with no children
Degree The number of sub trees of a node
Edge The connection between one node and another
Path Sequence of nodes connecting a node with a descendant
Level 1 + the number of connections between the node and the root


Binary Tree

An unidirecitonal binary tree can be implemented using 2 pointers for each node:

A generic tree can be implemented by using 4 pointers for each node: