Difference between HashSet and LinkedHashSet

HashSet and LinkedHashSet are both implementations of the Set interface in Java, but they have some key differences in their behavior and performance characteristics. Here’s a comparison:

1. Ordering

  • HashSet does not guarantee any order of its elements. The elements are stored based on their hashcode, which means the iteration order of elements can appear random and can change over time, especially when the set is modified (elements are added or removed).
  • LinkedHashSet maintains a doubly-linked list across all of its elements in addition to the hash table. This linked list defines the iteration ordering, which is the order in which elements were inserted into the set (insertion-order). This means when you iterate over a LinkedHashSet, the elements will appear in the order they were added.

2. Performance

  • HashSet is generally faster than LinkedHashSet for add, remove, and contains operations because it has fewer operations to perform (it doesn’t need to maintain a linked list). The complexity of basic operations like add, remove, and contains is O(1), assuming the hash function disperses the elements properly among the buckets.
  • LinkedHashSet has slightly slower add and remove operations compared to HashSet because it has to maintain the order of elements by updating the linked list each time an element is added or removed. However, the performance difference is usually minimal and the complexity of basic operations remains O(1) under the assumption of a good hash function.

3. Memory Overhead

  • HashSet has a lower memory footprint compared to LinkedHashSet because it only needs to store the elements themselves in the hash table.
  • LinkedHashSet requires more memory than HashSet because it maintains a linked list connecting all of its elements, which requires additional pointers for each element to its previous and next elements in the order.

Use Cases

  • Use HashSet when you need a collection that prevents duplicates and order is not important. It’s more memory-efficient and slightly faster for basic operations.
  • Use LinkedHashSet when you need a collection that prevents duplicates and you also want to maintain the insertion order of the elements. It’s slightly slower and requires more memory than HashSet, but it allows you to iterate over the elements in the order they were inserted.

Choosing between HashSet and LinkedHashSet depends on whether the order of elements is important for your specific use case and whether you are willing to trade off a little performance and memory for maintaining order.



About Author

As Neelabh Singh, I am a Senior Software Engineer with 6.6 years of experience, specializing in Java technologies, Microservices, AWS, Algorithms, and Data Structures. I am also a technology blogger and an active participant in several online coding communities.

You may also like

Blog Design Pattern

Understanding the Builder Design Pattern in Java | Creational Design Patterns | CodeTechSummit

Overview The Builder design pattern is a creational pattern used to construct a complex object step by step. It separates
Blog Tech Toolkit

Base64 Decode

Base64 encoding is a technique used to encode binary data into ASCII characters, making it easier to transmit data over