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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.


New members | Standard Template Library Programmer`s Guide | priority_queue < T, Sequence, Compare >







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