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queue<T, Sequence>

Categories: containers, adaptors Component type: type

Description

A queue is an adaptor that provides a restricted subset of Container functionality A queue is a "first in first out" (FIFO) data structure. [1] That is, elements are added to the back of the queue and may be removed from the front; Q.front() is the element that was added to the queue least recently. Queue does not allow iteration through its elements. [2]

Queue is a container adaptor, meaning that it is implemented on top of some underlying container type. By default that underlying type is deque, but a different type may be selected explicitly.

Example

int main() {
  queue<int> Q;
  Q.push(8);
  Q.push(7);
  Q.push(6);
  Q.push(2);
  
  assert(Q.size() == 4);
  assert(Q.back() == 2);

  assert(Q.front() == 8);
  Q.pop();

  assert(Q.front() == 7);
  Q.pop();

  assert(Q.front() == 6);
  Q.pop();
  
  assert(Q.front() == 2);
  Q.pop();

  assert(Q.empty());
}

Definition

Defined in the standard header queue, and in the nonstandard backward-compatibility header stack.h.

Template parameters

Parameter Description Default
T The type of object stored in the queue.  
Sequence The type of the underlying container used to implement the queue. deque<T>

Model of

Assignable, Default Constructible

Type requirements

Public base classes

None.

Members

Member Where defined Description
value_type queue See below.
size_type queue See below.
queue() Default Constructible The default constructor. Creates an empty queue.
queue(const queue&) Assignable The copy constructor.
queue& operator=(const queue&) Assignable The assignment operator.
bool empty() const queue See below.
size_type size() const queue See below.
value_type& front() queue See below.
const value_type& front() const queue See below.
value_type& back() queue See below.
const value_type& back() const queue See below.
void push(const value_type&) queue See below.
void pop() [3] queue See below.
bool operator==(const queue&, const queue&) queue See below.
bool operator<(const queue&, const queue&) queue See below.

New members

These members are not defined in the Assignable and Default Constructible requirements, but are specific to queue.
Member Description
value_type The type of object stored in the queue. This is the same as T and Sequence::value_type.
size_type An unsigned integral type. This is the same as Sequence::size_type.
bool empty() const Returns true if the queue contains no elements, and false otherwise. Q.empty() is equivalent to Q.size() == 0.
size_type size() const Returns the number of elements contained in the queue.
value_type& front() Returns a mutable reference to the element at the front of the queue, that is, the element least recently inserted. Precondition: empty() is false.
const value_type& front() const Returns a const reference to the element at the front of the queue, that is, the element least recently inserted. Precondition: empty() is false.
value_type& back() Returns a mutable reference to the element at the back of the queue, that is, the element most recently inserted. Precondition: empty() is false.
const value_type& back() const Returns a const reference to the element at the back of the queue, that is, the element most recently inserted. Precondition: empty() is false.
void push(const value_type& x) Inserts x at the back of the queue. Postconditions: size() will be incremented by 1, and back() will be equal to x.
void pop() Removes the element at the front of the queue. [3] Precondition: empty() is false. Postcondition: size() will be decremented by 1.
bool operator==(const queue&, const queue&) Compares two queues for equality. Two queues are equal if they contain the same number of elements and if they are equal element-by-element. This is a global function, not a member function.
bool operator<(const queue&, const queue&) Lexicographical ordering of two queues. This is a global function, not a member function.

Notes

[1] Queues are a standard data structure, and are discussed in all algorithm books. See, for example, section 2.2.1 of Knuth. (D. E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming. Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms, second edition. Addison-Wesley, 1973.)

[2] This restriction is the only reason for queue to exist at all. Any container that is both a front insertion sequence and a back insertion sequence can be used as a queue; deque, for example, has member functions front, back, push_front, push_back, pop_front, and pop_back The only reason to use the container adaptor queue instead of the container deque is to make it clear that you are performing only queue operations, and no other operations.

[3] One might wonder why pop() returns void, instead of value_type. That is, why must one use front() and pop() to examine and remove the element at the front of the queue, instead of combining the two in a single member function? In fact, there is a good reason for this design. If pop() returned the front element, it would have to return by value rather than by reference: return by reference would create a dangling pointer. Return by value, however, is inefficient: it involves at least one redundant copy constructor call. Since it is impossible for pop() to return a value in such a way as to be both efficient and correct, it is more sensible for it to return no value at all and to require clients to use front() to inspect the value at the front of the queue.

See also

stack, priority_queue, deque, Container, Sequence


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