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Answer to Question #19841 in Java | JSP | JSF for nohra

Question #19841
73-8. What do you think are advantages and disadvantages of arrays?
Expert's answer
Arrays permit efficient (constant time) random access butnot efficient insertion and deletion of elements. Consequently, arrays are most
appropriate for storing a fixed amount of data which will be accessed in an
unpredictable fashion.
Another advantageof arrays that has become very important on modern architectures is that
iterating through an array has good locality of reference, and so is much
faster than iterating through (say) a linked list of the same size, which tends
to jump around in memory. However, an array can also be accessed in a random
way, as is done with large hash tables, and in this case this is not a benefit.

Arrays also areamong the most compact data structures; storing 100 integers in an array takes
only 100 times the space required to store an integer, plus perhaps a few bytes
of overhead for the whole array. Any pointer-based data structure, on the other
hand, must keep its pointers somewhere, and these occupy additional space. This
extra space becomes more significant as the data elements become smaller. For
example, an array of ASCII characters takes up one byte per character, while on
a 32-bit platform, which has 4-byte pointers, a linked list requires at least
five bytes per character. Conversely, for very large elements, the space
difference becomes a negligible fraction of the total space.
Because arrayshave a fixed size, there are some indexes which refer to invalid elements - for
example, the index 17 in an array of size 5. What happens when a program
attempts to refer to these varies from language to language and platform to
platform.

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