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Difference between Stack and Heap

Difference between Stack and Heap

Memory management is critical for any application to run smoothly and efficiently. One of the most important aspects of memory management is understanding the differences between stack and heap memory allocation. In this blog post, we will explore what these two types of memories are, how they allocate data in an application, and their respective pros and cons when it comes to programing. With a better understanding of stack vs heap memory structure, app developers can make more informed decisions on how best to build their applications.

What is Stack?

Stack is a way of organizing data. It is based around the concept of Last In, First Out (LIFO), which means that the data you last added to the Stack will be the first item taken out. Stacks are useful when you need to quickly access something from a collection of similar items, such as in a program used for web-browsing or computer coding.

Stack can help keep organized with large amounts of data and allows for quick access to any part of it. Stack can also keep data secure, since every element stored is exactly where it should be and can only be changed in an orderly fashion. Stack technology has become ubiquitous in computing and programming today, providing reliable storage solutions for both daily usage and specialized tasks.

What is Heap?

Heap is an abstract data structure widely used in computer programming. Heap is a tree-based data structure which is actually a complete binary tree where the root node has a key which is either greater than or equal to its children’s keys. Heap stores the data in an array form and uses various operations such as finding the maximum, inserting the element, deleting the element and several other operations.

Heap concept provides a variety of applications ranging from priority queue, various network algorithms and search algorithm like Dijkstra’s algorithm. Heap serves important function in today’s computer programming language like Java and C++. Heap also heavily utilizes Binary Heaps in order to organizing data efficiently and quickly without wasting any process cycles.

Difference between Stack and Heap

  • Stack and Heap are important concepts in computer programming, but they are very different from one another. Stack is a memory used for storing values temporarily, it can store only local or temporary variables, while Heap is typically used for dynamic memory allocation. Stack keeps the record of what the sequence of instruction has been; heap has no such notion and variables can be stored and accessed randomly in any order.
  • Stack works on Last In First Out (LIFO) princple while data stored in the heap has no specific order and access to them depends on the address of that particular variable.
  • Stack is much fast as compared to Heap due to lack of fragmentation as Stack doesn’t require any scavinge collection because all its entries get removed when execution finishes whereas unused resources may remain fragmented when allocated by Heap memory.


Stack and heap are two memory management schemes used in computer programming. The stack is a Last In, First Out (LIFO) data structure while the heap is a First In, First Out (FIFO) data structure. They both have their advantages and disadvantages which we’ve outlined for you. Hopefully, this will help you choose which scheme to use when programming your next big project.

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