The ability to access any element of a sequence in real time, without having to seek through preceding elements.
In computer science, random access is the ability to access an element at an arbitrary position in a sequence in equal time, independent of sequence size. The position is arbitrary in the sense that it is unpredictable, thus the use of the term "random" in "random access". The opposite is sequential access, where a remote element takes longer time to access. A typical illustration of this distinction is to compare an ancient scroll and the book. A more modern example is a cassette tape and a CD. In data structures, random access implies the ability to access any entry in a list in constant time. Very few data structures can guarantee this, other than arrays. Random access is critical, or at least valuable, to many algorithms such as binary search, integer sorting or certain versions of sieve of Eratosthenes. Other data structures, such as linked lists, sacrifice random access to make for efficient inserts, deletes, or reordering of data. Self-balancing binary search trees may provide an acceptable compromise, where access time is equal for any member of a collection and only grows logarithmically with its size.
The numerical value of random access in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of random access in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
Images & Illustrations of random access
Find a translation for the random access definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these random access definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"random access." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 26 Jun 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/random access>.