The Stack data structure

#data-structures series

Posted on January 14, 2016

About the #data-structures series

The #data-structures series is a collection of posts about reimplemented data structures in JavaScript.

If you are not familiar with data structures, a quick introduction and the full list of reimplemented data structures can be found in the introduction post of the series on data structures in JavaScript.

If you feel comfortable with the concept of each data structure and only want to see the code, have a look at the summary post of the series. It removes all explanations and contains only the JavaScript code for all data structures discussed in the series.

Get the code on Github

Of course, all the code can also be found on Github in the repository data-structures-in-javascript.

The Stack data structure


A Stack is an abstract data type that serves as a collection of elements, with two principal operations: push, which adds an element to the collection, and pop, which removes the most recently added element that was not yet removed. The order in which elements come off a Stack gives rise to its alternative name, LIFO (for last in, first out). From Wikipedia

A Stack often has a third method peek which allows to check the last pushed element without popping it.


Access Search Insertion Deletion
O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1)

To get a full overview of the time and space complexity of the Stack data structure, have a look to this excellent Big O cheat sheet.

The code

function Stack() {
  this.stack = [];

Stack.prototype.push = function(value) {
Stack.prototype.pop = function() {
  return this.stack.pop();
Stack.prototype.peek = function() {
  return this.stack[this.stack.length - 1];
Stack.prototype.length = function() {
  return this.stack.length;
Stack.prototype.print = function() {
  console.log(this.stack.join(' '));

var stack = new Stack();
stack.print(); // => 1 2 3
console.log('length is 3:', stack.length()); // => 3
console.log('peek is 3:', stack.peek()); // => 3
console.log('pop is 3:', stack.pop()); // => 3
stack.print(); // => 1 2
console.log('pop is 2:', stack.pop());  // => 2
console.log('length is 1:', stack.length()); // => 1
console.log('pop is 1:', stack.pop()); // => 1
stack.print(); // => ''
console.log('peek is undefined:', stack.peek()); // => undefined
console.log('pop is undefined:', stack.pop()); // => undefined