Massimo Caliman
by Massimo Caliman
1 min read


  • Programming


  • Data Structures

One of the most recurring basic types is the Stack; a pseudolanguage specification is given below.

type: Stack
data: a sequence S of n elements
isEmpty() -> result , result=true iff S=O, false otherwise
push(elem e) adds e as the last element of S
pop()-> elem , removes the last element from S and returns it
top()-> elem returns the last element of S (without removing it from S)

In Java we could render the specification as an interface

public interface Stack<E> {
    public boolean isEmpty();
    public void push(E e);
    public E pop();
    public E top();

The use of generics allows me not to define the interface for a specific type.

Again, we can implement this in various ways, either by using indexed or linked structures.

However, the JDK provides a very respectable implementation of both Stack and Queue, and does so with a single interface Deque<E> from which derive the concrete classes ArrayDeque, ConcurrentLinkedDeque, LinkedBlockingDeque, LinkedList.

Deque defines methods for making both a Stack and a Queue, I refer you to the javadoc for a more comprehensive discussion and will just list them here.

  • For the push(e) method we have addFirst(e).
  • For the pop() we have removeFirst().
  • For peek() or top() instead peekFirst().

Deque<E> implements the Queueue<E> interface, an interface also implemented by the classes AbstractQueue, ArrayBlockingQueue, ArrayDeque, ConcurrentLinkedDeque, ConcurrentLinkedQue, DelayQue, LinkedBlockingDeque, LinkedBlockingQue, LinkedList, LinkedTransferQue, PriorityBlockingQue, PriorityQue, SynchronousQue.

The easiest way is to use the old Stack class from java.util, but you won’t get much benefit from it; it is derived from the Vector class and has been available since version 1.0 of the JDK

Stack<Integer> lifo = new Stack<>();
for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
while (!lifo.isEmpty()) {

The recommended class is ArrayDeque<E> a simple use case is as follows

Deque<Integer> stack = new ArrayDeque<Integer>();
Integer value = stack.pop();
boolean isEmpty = stack.isEmpty();
value = stack.peek();