I'm trying to learn hash tables as I am hearing that it'll be utilized a lot in the future (advanced programming). My book, however, does not include any lessons on Hash Tables. Any good references for someone trying to learn Hash Tables? Thank you!!

Hash tables are simply 2-dimension arrays sorted by the key (hash value). The hash value is a mathematical representation of the data stored. There are a number of hashing algorithms that are used these days. The "key" is to select one that will minimize the number of collisions - situations where different data values will result in the same hash value. Hash tables have the ability to deal with this, by having overflow buckets. IE, each hash value can have any number of associated data values, each in a slot in the overflow array. Obviously, if this is a frequent situation, then performance in finding specific items can be seriously impacted, hence the desire to have non-colliding hash algorithms. Generating a good hash can be expensive in terms of CPU time, but cheap in terms of lookup times, especially if the table is stored on disc.

A very good source to study this subject is Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming - Volume 3, Sorting and Searching, published by Addison/Wesley. One of the later chapters deals with hashing in some detail. FWIW, the Berkeley DB libraries for C/C++ are hash-table implementations.

Thank you all for the replies. Do you guys have any online references? I'm mainly trying to find online resources.

Thank you all for the replies. Do you guys have any online references? I'm mainly trying to find online resources.

Wiki is usually a good place to start!

I've been through the Wiki and have been reading the confuzzled page. Both excellent resources! If anyone has additional resources, please feel free to raise them up!

Thanks, forum :D

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