4.17. Implementing a Deque in PythonΒΆ

As we have done in previous sections, we will create a new class for the implementation of the abstract data type deque. Again, the Python list will provide a very nice set of methods upon which to build the details of the deque. Our implementation (Listing 1) will assume that the rear of the deque is at position 0 in the list.

Listing 1

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class Deque:
    """Deque implementation as a list"""

    def __init__(self):
        """Create new deque"""
        self._items = []

    def is_empty(self):
        """Check if the deque is empty"""
        return not bool(self._items)

    def add_front(self, item):
        """Add an item to the front of the deque"""
        self._items.append(item)

    def add_rear(self, item):
        """Add an item to the rear of the deque"""
        self._items.insert(0, item)

    def remove_front(self):
        """Remove an item from the front of the deque"""
        return self._items.pop()

    def remove_rear(self):
        """Remove an item from the rear of the deque"""
        return self._items.pop(0)

    def size(self):
        """Get the number of items in the deque"""
        return len(self._items)

In remove_front we use the pop method to remove the last element from the list. However, in remove_rear, the pop(0) method must remove the first element of the list. Likewise, we need to use the insert method (line 12) in add_rear since the append method assumes the addition of a new element to the end of the list.

CodeLens 1 shows the Deque class in action as we perform the sequence of operations from Table 1.

Activity: CodeLens Example Deque Operations (deqtest)

You can see many similarities to Python code already described for stacks and queues. You are also likely to observe that in this implementation adding and removing items from the front is O(1) whereas adding and removing from the rear is O(n). This is to be expected given the common operations that appear for adding and removing items. Again, the important thing is to be certain that we know where the front and rear are assigned in the implementation.

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