What is hashing? Explain concept of hash table and hash function with example.

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Hashing is a well-known technique to search any particular element among several elements. It minimizes the number of comparisons while performing the search.

In hashing, an array data structure called as Hash table is used to store the data items. Hash table is a data structure used for storing and retrieving data very quickly. Insertion of data in the hash table is based on the key value. Hence every entry in the hash table is associated with some key. Using the hash key the required piece of data can be searched in the hash table by few or more key comparisons.

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Hash function is a function which is used to put the data in the hash table. Hence one can use the same hash function to retrieve the data from the hash table. Thus hash function is used to implement the hash table. The integer returned by the hash function is called hash key.

E.g. Division Hash Function

The division hash function depends upon the remainder of division. Typically the divisor is table length. For e.g. If the record 54, 72, 89, 37 is placed in the hash table and if the table size is 10 then the hash function is:

h(key) = record % table size

and key obtained by hash function is called hash key.

54%10=4

72%10=2

89%10=9

37%10=7

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Hash Table is a data structure which stores data in an associative manner. In a hash table, data is stored in an array format, where each data value has its own unique index value. Access of data becomes very fast if we know the index of the desired data.

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