5 Effective List Structure Techniques You Should Know

There are five effective list structure techniques you should know. They are Unrolling, Splitting, XOR-linking, and Null pointer. Here is a quick review of each technique. In addition to learning about each one, you should also familiarize yourself with the others. But before we start, let’s first look at the pros and cons of each. XOR-linking and Null pointer are two techniques that make lists easier to read and maintain.

Splitting a list into two

There are two effective list structure techniques: splitting a list into smaller sublists, and using an iterator. A generator is a convenient way to refer to a function that iterates over a list of elements. The second technique involves using a generator to build sublists in the same order as the source list. In addition, it is important to note that the generator cannot be called a simple function, but must be referred to as an iterable.

Unrolling a linked list

The term “unrolled” refers to a data structure that combines the features of a linked list and an array. This type of data structure makes use of the locality of storage and ultra fast indexing of linked lists, while retaining the advantages of insertion and deletion. Unrolled linked lists have an advantage over indexed lists over arrays in that they take up less memory. However, unrolled lists can be more expensive to store and manage than a linked list.


XOR-linking is a powerful list structure technique, used to create doubly linked lists. Because of the self-cancelling nature of XOR, this technique avoids duplication of pointers. To create a doubly linked list, just create a new XOR list. If you have several lists, you can use XOR-linking to create an ordered list.

Null pointer

A Null pointer in a list structure is a node that points to nothing. When a list is closed, a null pointer means that there are no further nodes. Open lists are not closed, and vice versa. Circular double linked lists have the first node pointing to the last node. However, they may be closed. For this reason, it is best to use open lists unless you need to refer to the last node.

Double-linked lists

In this list structure, each node has a pointer to the next node. This allows a user to traverse the list from the beginning to the end without having to traverse the entire list. It is possible to traverse the list from either direction, since any node can be used as the starting point for a traversal. Here’s an example: