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The Standard Template Library (STL) in C++ is a powerful software library that’s a set of C++ template classes. It provides built-in algorithms, functions, iterators, and containers. This article focuses on the C++ STL container set.
STL containers are objects that can store multiple elements, manage any storage required for the elements, and offer member functions we can use to access them. A container may allow elements of either the same type or different types to be stored in it. Depending on this, and on whether it is unordered, the containers are divided into three types:
There are also Container Adapters: queue, priority_queue, and stack that are a subset of containers. These container adapters offer a different interface for sequential containers.
To help you harness the power of STL and be a more efficient developer, we’re doing a series on C++ STL container fundamentals. This article focuses on the C++ STL container set (check out the learn page for more).
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In this article, we’ll cover:
Sets are associative containers implemented using binary search trees that contain unique elements stored in a specific order. By default, the elements get popped out in ascending order. However, the order can also be customized using a custom comparator passed to a set in C++ STL.
Once a value is stored in a set, we can’t modify it within the set. We have to remove that value and add the revised version of the element value.
Sets are widely used to:
Here are the several methods associated with set in STL:
Let us now see what some of the most commonly used set methods do and how to use them in the next section via an example.
Here, we take a look at how you can use set as a C++ STL container for a smoother coding experience:
Q1. What is a set in STL?
Set is a C++ STL container used to store the unique elements, and all the elements are stored in a sorted manner.
Q2. Is the set ordered in C++ STL?
Yes, in C++, set order is guaranteed in STL.
Q3. Which is better set or unordered set?
In a set, we can traverse elements in a specific sorted order and find the predecessor or successor of an element. But in an unordered set, we can’t traverse elements in any specific sorted order and can’t find any predecessor or successor.
Q4. Is unordered_set faster than set in C++ STL?
Yes. Unordered set containers are faster than set containers in C++ STL.
Q5. Can we add duplicate elements to a set?
Even if we add duplicate elements to a set, only unique values will be stored in it. If an instance of the element added is already present in the set, the set doesn’t add it again.
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