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Sparse Matrices, Two-Dimensional Matrices and Lists

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One of the problems of storing data in a matrix (a two-dimensional Cartesian structure) is that if not all of the elements are used, there might be quite a waste of space. In order to handle this, we can use a construct called a "sparse matrix", where only the active elements appear. Each such element is accompanied by its two indexes (the row and the column). Discuss in what ways such a structure is similar to and/or different than a list.

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Solution Summary

This solution describes the advantages of using sparse matrices over two-dimensional matrices, apart from exploring the differences between lists and sparse matrices.