Sets, maps and hashing in C++

Sets, maps, and hashing in C++

A set, map, and hash table are data structures used in C + + to map keys to values. Their purpose is to organize data so that programmers can lookup values for given keys much faster. These three terms can be confusing for students and novice programmers. That’s why we, at Programming Homework Help have explored each and every term in-depth to help you understand it better.


Sets can be defined as containers that store unique data elements using a specific order. When it comes to C + +, the value of the elements in a set must be unique and cannot be altered or modified in any way once the elements have been moved into the container. However, the values can be added or removed from the container.
Usually, the elements contained in a set are organized following a strict ordering criterion. Here are some basic functions associated with sorting values of elements in a set:
- Begin(): Returns an iterator to the very first element in the container
- End(): Returns the iterator to the element that follows the very last element in the container
- Size: Returns or rather, displays the total number of elements in a given set
- Max_size(): Displays the maximum number of values that a set holds at any given time
- Empty(): Shows whether the set contains any elements or not.
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Maps are associative containers used to store data elements in a mapped manner. Each element present in any given map has a mapped value and a key value. These values must be unique; in other words, no multiple mapped values can be assigned the same key values. Some basic functions used to store and organize elements in a map include:
- Begin(): Returns the iterator to the very first data element in the map
- End(): Returns the iterator to the element that follows the very last data element in a map
- Size(): Shows how many elements are contained in a map
- Max_size(): Displays the maximum number of data elements held in a given map
- Empty(): Shows whether a map contains any data elements or not
- Pair insert (mapvalue, keyvalue): Inserts a new data element into the map
- Erase(iterator position): Deletes the elements contained at the position highlighted by the iterator
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Hashing is the process of storing key data value pairs using a hash function. A hash function is used to map an index into an array from where a data element can be searched or inserted. However, hash functions have been found to cause collisions sometimes, that is, multiple keys can be mapped into the same value. To avoid this, a technique known as chain hashing is introduced, whereby each cell in a hash table is pointed to a linked list of data records that contain the same hash function value. There are many different ways to implement hashing in C + + based on the technique used to deal with collisions. To further understand this topic from a professional’s perspective, reach out to our hashing in C++ homework help.