<*data*> Processing nodes in a graph one at a time, usually
in some specified order. Traversal of a tree is recursively
defined to mean visiting the root node and traversing its
children. Visiting a node usually involves transforming it in
some way or collecting data from it.

In "pre-order traversal", a node is visited *before* its
children. In "post-order" traversal, a node is visited
*after* its children. The more rarely used "in-order"
traversal is generally applicable only to binary trees, and is
where you visit first a node's left child, then the node
itself, and then its right child.

For the binary tree:

T / \ I S / \ D EA pre-order traversal visits the nodes in the order T I D E S. A post-order traversal visits them in the order D E I S T. An in-order traversal visits them in the order D I E T S.

Last updated: 2001-10-01

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**Nearby terms:**
traveling salesman problem « travelling salesman « travelling salesman problem « **traversal** » traverse » trawl » tree

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Copyright Denis Howe 1985