JPM Systems Understands the Graph Data Structure of PHP Development
Apart from the Tree data structures, graphs are data structures employed for PHP development. Graphs are employed for real-world applications like network optimization, social network analysis and traffic routing. A mathematical construct employed to model relationships existing between key/value pairs, a graph includes a set of nodes along with an arbitrary number of lines or edges connecting them.
The edges are classified as directed or undirected. An edge between two nodes with constraint on the directions is a directed edge. On the other hand, an undirected edge doesn’t have any orientation. Basically there are two types of graphs, weighted or unweighted. In a weighted graph, a specific weight or cost value is assigned at each of its edges. Using weighted graph, one can easily determine the most optimal path, the most appropriate path apart from the the least “cost” path possible between two points.
The Primary Implementation of Graphs
Graphs are normally used for two common problems – the shortest path and the least number of Hops. Between any two nodes, if least number of hops are desired then Graphs offer the ideal way for it. Graphs can be traversed in either the depth-first or the breadth-first way, quite similar to the case with trees. While going for the breadth-first approach for finding hops, start initially at the root node. Any specific node can be taken as the root node and then you can work down the tree level after level.
During this process, its also required to keep track of the unvisited nodes so that they can be traced and processed after each level. In context to finding the nodes that are adjacent, it is extremely important to have adequate know-how of the graph representation. Graphs may be represented either as an adjacency list or an adjacency matrix. Adjacency matrices enable quick look ups while adjacency lists are space efficient for sparse graphs. More crucially, the type of graph operations required decides the choice of graph representation.
Finding the shortest path between two specific nodes is another common problem for which these graphs are very helpful. Prominent applications include planning travel itineraries, train/bus scheduling, road traffic management etc. One of the popular algorithms for addressing this issue was invented a long time ago. It involves examination of each edge while starting from selected source node, maintaining updated set of nodes with the least total distance, till target node is reached.
Basics of graph theory must be clear for all custom PHP development services providers. However, most experienced PHP web development firms are well aware of the data structure complexity. Proper knowledge of other data structures like Trees, Heaps etc., makes it rather easy for these custom PHP development services providers to offer web solutions as per the requirements of the client.