#linked #list #vector


A hybrid linked list and vector data structure

12 releases (4 stable)

1.2.1 Feb 13, 2023
1.2.0 Feb 12, 2023
0.3.0 Feb 8, 2023
0.2.0 Feb 8, 2023
0.1.5 Feb 7, 2023

#151 in Data structures

37 downloads per month

MIT license



LinkedVector is a feature packed hybrid of a vector and linked list. Items are accessible directly in O(1) time, and insertions and deletions also operate in O(1) time. Internally, nodes exist within a vector, with each node holding handles to its previous and next neighbors. So there's no shifting of data when items are inserted or removed.

LFU Cache Example

An example project that demonstrates use of the linked-vector crate is available. The project is for a Least Frequently Used Cache. LinkedVector's are used to implement its frequency count queues.


Version v1.2.x is a minor revision backward compatibile the prior v1.x.x versions. Users however, must enable the "cursor-remove" feature explicitly. This turns on the CursorMut::remove() method. If you weren't using Cursor::remove() before, then nothing needs to be done. Otherwise, you can update your Cargo.toml file to include the feature, see usage notes below.

Feature: "optionless-accessors"

Version v1.2.0 added a new "optionless-accessors" feature that can be enabled which implements some minor changes to a few existing methods for LinkedVector and Cursor. It is encouraged that this feature be enabled as it addresses certain nonsensical aspects of a few API methods.

With this feature enabled, methods such as get(hnode) and get_mut(hnode) that take a handle return direct references to their values instead of an Option variant. These commands would fail on a bad handle anyway, so it doesn't make sense to return an Option. This feature is disabled by default so as not to break backward compatibility, but can be easily turned on, see Usage notes

Feature: "cursor-remove"

The LinkedVector API disallows creating a cursor for an empty vector. If you have a cursor to a vector, then it's assumed it has items to traverse and/or modify. Removing items can pose a slight danger in that the cursor's internal reference to the current node becomes meaningless if all the items are removed.

So to ensure users are aware of this, the "cursor-remove" feature needs to be explicitly turned on. To verify whether you've emptied a vector through a cursor, the cursor provides an is_empty() method. Also the remove() method returns an Option where a None indicates there are no more items to remove.

Versioning Conventions:

  • MAJOR version indicates incompatible API changes with previous major version.
  • MINOR version indicates added functionality in a backwards-compatible manner.
  • PATCH version indicates backwards-compatible bug fixes.

Change Log


To use the "optionless-accessors" and "cursor-remove" features, edit your Cargo.toml file to include:

linked-vector = { version = "1.2", features = ["cursor-remove", "optionless-accessors"] }

Or, to use v1.2.0 with backward compatibility with existing v1.1.0 code include:

linked-vector = "1.2"

Or run this on the command line from your project folder:

cargo add linked-vector --features "cursor-remove, optionless-accessors"

or without the new features:

cargo add linked-vector

Feature Summary


Items in a LinkedVector are directly accessible via handles, which are instances of the HNode struct. These are returned by operations such as insert or push, or other accessor methods. If direct access is required to any specific items, their handles can be stored for later use. These handles lack the performance overhead of smart pointers, while providing a flexible reference model.

use linked_vector::*;
let mut lv = LinkedVector::new();

let handle_1 = lv.push_back(1);
let handle_2 = lv.push_back(2);

lv[handle_1] = 42;
lv[handle_2] = 99;

assert_eq!(lv[handle_1], 42);
assert_eq!(lv[handle_2], 99);


Nodes within LinkedVector are added to a recycling list when they're popped, or otherwise removed. If a LinkedVector has any nodes in this list, one will be used for the next insert or push operation. This strategy avoids segmenting the vector with dead vector cells. When a node is added to the recycling list, it isn't moved in the vector - its next and previous fields are updated to link it into the recycling list.

Debug Features

For release builds, the checks described in this section are excluded to ensure fast performance. In release, handles are simply transparent usize indexes into the LinkedVector's internal vector.

When run with the debug build, handles have additional fields added: a UUID field, and a generation ID. The UUID field is used to verify handles are native to the LinkedVector they're passed to. And the generation ID is used to detect expired handles.

These features should help ensure that projects that use this crate don't have elusive bugs in scenarios such as passing an old handle to a vector for a node that had been popped earlier, or obtaining a handle from one vector and accidentally passing it to another.


LinkedVector's struct is implemented in a minimalistic manner. It contains only 4 fields: one for the internal vector, another that holds a handle to the head node, another with a handle to the recycling list, and lastly the length field.

There are no dummy nodes in the vector - all active nodes are data, and there's no field in the LinkedVector struct for a tail handle, although the vector does indeed have a tial node accessible in O(1) time.

Other Features

  • Cursors: The Cursor interface facilitates traversing the vector from any point.
  • Indexing: Index<HNode> and Index<usize> are implemented, enabling items to be accessed directly.
  • Iterators: The standard assortment of double-ended iterators are implemented.
  • Sorting: In-place sorting of elements is supported in O(n log n) time.



Operations that alter the LinkedVector return handles that can be saved for later use. These provide direct access to items in O(1) time.

use linked_vector::*;
let mut lv = LinkedVector::new();

let h1 = lv.push_back(1);
let h2 = lv.push_back(2);
let h3 = lv.push_back(3);
let h4 = lv.insert_after(h1, 4);

lv.insert_after(h2, 42);

assert_eq!(lv.front(), Some(&4));
assert_eq!(lv.to_vec(), vec![4, 2, 42, 3]);


A cursor can be requested from the LinkedVector to facilitate traversal of nodes. Using a handle to specify starting position, cursors can be set to the location within the vector accordingly. They can move one position at a time, or several via forward(n_times) and backward(n_ntimes).

use linked_vector::*;
let lv     = LinkedVector::from([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]);
let hfront = lv.front_node().unwrap();

let mut cursor = lv.cursor(hfront);

assert_eq!(*cursor, 1);


assert_eq!(*cursor, 2);

let hend = cursor.move_to_end().expect("Moving to end");
let hbak = cursor.backward(3).expect("Moving back 3");

assert_eq!(*cursor, 4);
assert_eq!(lv[hend], 7);
assert_eq!(lv[hbak], 4);


LinkedVector implements the standard set of double-ended iterators. They can be instantiated directly via methods such as iter(), or implicitly.

use linked_vector::*;
let mut lv1 = LinkedVector::from([1, 2, 3]);

lv1.iter_mut().zip(7..).for_each(|(a, b)| *a = b);
lv1.iter().zip(7..).for_each(|(a, b)| assert_eq!(a, &b));

for (v1, v2) in (10..).zip(&mut lv1) {
    *v2 = v1;
lv1.iter().zip(10..).for_each(|(a, b)| assert_eq!(a, &b));


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