[C++] How do I implement custom data structures (e.g., queues, heaps) in C++?

To implement custom data structures like queues and heaps in C++, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Define a class for your data structure: Start by creating a class that represents your data structure. This class will contain the necessary member variables and member functions to implement the desired behavior.

  2. Decide on the underlying container: Choose an underlying container that will hold the data in your data structure. For example, for a queue, you can use a linked list or a dynamic array. For a heap, a dynamic array or a binary tree could be used.

  3. Implement the basic operations: Implement the basic operations required for your data structure. For a queue, this could include functions like enqueue (inserting an element at the end) and dequeue (removing an element from the front). For a heap, this could include functions like insert (inserting an element in the correct position) and extractMin (removing the minimum element).

  4. Implement any additional functionality: Depending on your requirements, you may need to add additional functionality to your data structure. For example, you might add a function to check if a certain element is present in a queue, or a function to perform an operation like heapify on a heap.

  5. Test your implementation: Once you have implemented your data structure, thoroughly test it with different test cases to ensure it functions correctly and handles edge cases properly.

Remember to use proper memory management techniques, such as deallocating memory when necessary, to avoid memory leaks or undefined behavior in your implementation. Additionally, consider making your implementation generic by using templates, allowing the data structure to work with different data types.

Lastly, if you want to save time and effort, you can also use the Standard Template Library (STL) in C++. It provides pre-implemented data structures like queues (std::queue) and heaps (std::priority_queue) that you can use directly.