Stack Pop, Push, Peek...

I just learnt how to use the Stack today, and I was wondering if anyone has a practical use for the stack.  I can only think of trivial uses for it like I wrote a program that reverses a string using the old PushPop method.  But can anyone give me some examples of how it could be used in the real world???

Tim
LVL 2
UberDeveloperAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

brother7Commented:
I'm currently writing a chess program.  In a chess program, it's necessary to traverse a tree of possible moves and apply a Minimax algorithm to assess the position scores at the terminal nodes.  Eventually, you  have to back those scores back up to the root node and choose the move that gives the highest score.

The list of moves made as you traverse the tree is stored in a stack.  The move is made on the board object and the move is pushed onto the stack.  This goes on for a while.  Eventually, you will want to unmake the moves to go back towards the starting position. To do this you pop the move off the stack and unmake that move on the board object.  So the stack represents the path or move list from the initial position to the current position being evaluated.

My particular application is a chess program, but I'm certain a stack is useful in other tree traversal applications.
Arthur_WoodCommented:
another real use of a STACK is to be able to UNDO a set of opertations.  As each operation is to be performed, that state of what it is to work on is PUSHED onto the Stack.  If you then wish to UNDO the last operation, then the stack is POPPED, and the last operation is un-done.  To undo a set of operations, the stack is POPPED multiple times, to undo each step in the reverse of the order in which they were originally done.

AW

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Bob LearnedCommented:
Stacks are an essential tool in many programming and operating system functions.  

When a program runs, and a routine is called, the current instruction location is PUSHED onto the stack.  After then routine ends, the old location is POPPED from the stack, and execution resumes from there.
brother7Commented:
I guess my chess example wasn't a 'practical' use of a stack, at least not practical enough to earn an Assist :(  But it is one that I'm having to code in real life.  I'll leave it up to the VB.NET compiler to handle the command stack internally, thank you.  I hope to never have to fiddle with a command or operation stack, ever. (fingers crossed)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
.NET Programming

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.