In computer science, an associative array, map, symbol table, or dictionary is an Abstract data type that stores a collection of (key, value) pairs, such that each possible key appears at most once in the collection. In mathematical terms an associative array is a function with finite domain. It supports ‘lookup’, ‘remove’, and ‘insert’ operations.

[…] The two major solutions to the dictionary problem are Hash tables and search trees.

(“Associative Array” 2022)


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