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Post-order traversal

In computer science, post-order traversal is used in data structures, and specifically, trees and binary trees.

Programs that utilize tree structures need to process nodes in a tree (represented as circles in below diagram). Nodes contain information about an object. For now, let's assume each node contains a letter.

Post-order traversal is a type of tree traversal algorithm. Post-order occurs when the root is postponed until its two subtrees are processed.

Steps to post-order traversal

Given a non-empty tree,

  1. Process the nodes in the left subtree with a recursive call
  2. Process the nodes in the right subtree with a recursive call
  3. Process the root

Given a binary tree PY:

The order would go D,G,E,B,F,C,A

An example of PostOrder in C++

int postorder_print(const binary_tree_nodes* ptr)
// ptr is a pointer to a node in a binary tree OR null
// meaning empty tree.
   if (ptr != NULL)
       postorder_print( ptr->left() );
       postorder_print( ptr->right() );
       std::cout << ptr->data() << std::endl;
   return 0;

The same example in
Haskell might look like

data Tree a = ET | Node(a, Tree a, Tree a)

postorder :: Tree a -> [a] postorder ET = [] postorder (Node (x, left,right)) = (postorder left) ++ (postorder right) ++ [x]

Compare: Pre-order traversal, Inorder traversal