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Connect nodes at same level


In the realm of data structures, trees play a crucial role in organizing and representing hierarchical relationships. One interesting problem that often arises in tree structures is connecting nodes at the same level. This task involves linking nodes that share a common parent in a tree, facilitating efficient traversal and manipulation of data.

Understanding Trees and Levels:

Before delving into the specifics of connecting nodes at the same level, let's establish a foundational understanding of trees. In computer science, a tree is a hierarchical data structure that consists of nodes connected by edges. The topmost node is called the root, and each node in the tree has zero or more child nodes.

The level of a node in a tree represents its distance from the root. The root is at level 0, its children are at level 1, and so on. Nodes that share the same parent are said to be at the same level. Connecting nodes at the same level involves establishing links between these nodes to facilitate efficient navigation and processing of the tree.

Understanding the Problem:

In a tree structure, nodes at the same level, also known as siblings, share a common parent but are not directly connected. Connecting these nodes at the same level involves establishing links between them, creating a cohesive structure. This process enhances the efficiency of various tree-based algorithms and operations.

Challenges and Considerations:

Connecting nodes at the same level is not a trivial task and involves careful consideration of the tree's structure. Several challenges must be addressed, including:

  • Efficiency: The algorithm used to connect nodes at the same level should be efficient in terms of time and space complexity, especially for large trees.
  • Dynamic Nature: The solution should be adaptable to dynamic changes in the tree structure, such as insertions or deletions of nodes.
  • Balancing: Ensuring that the tree remains balanced is crucial to prevent skewed structures that could compromise the efficiency of traversal operations.

Common Techniques:

  • Using Extra Space: One straightforward approach to connect nodes at the same level is by using extra space, such as a queue or an array. In a breadth-first traversal (level order traversal), we can maintain a data structure to store nodes at each level, allowing us to link them together efficiently.
  • Without Extra Space (Constant Space): An interesting challenge is to achieve this connection without using any additional data structures. One such solution involves modifying the tree structure itself. By utilizing the next pointer, we can link nodes at the same level in constant space, creating a threaded tree.
  • Level Order Traversal with Pointers: In this approach, we perform a level order traversal using a queue but, instead of using a separate data structure to store nodes at each level, we utilize the next pointers to connect nodes horizontally as we traverse vertically.



  • The program defines a binary tree node structure named Node. Each node contains an integer value (data), pointers to the left and right children (left and right), and a special pointer next to connect nodes at the same level.
  • connectNodesAtSameLevel Function takes the root of the binary tree as input and connects nodes at the same level using the next It uses a queue for a level-order traversal.
  • For each level, it processes nodes one by one, connecting each node to its right neighbor in the queue. After processing each level, it moves on to the next level until the entire tree is traversed.
  • The printConnectedNodes Function prints the connected nodes at each level. It starts from the leftmost node of the tree and traverses each level using the next pointer, printing the values of the connected nodes.
  • It continues this process until the entire tree is printed.
  • In the main function, an example binary tree is created with nodes containing values from 1 to 7. The connectNodesAtSameLevel function is called to establish the connections between nodes at the same level.
  • Finally, the printConnectedNodes function is called to display the connected nodes at each level.
  • The program concludes with a memory cleanup section, deallocating the memory allocated for the dynamic nodes in the binary tree. This cleanup is important to prevent memory leaks.
  • The output of this program would be the values of connected nodes at each level of the binary tree.
  • The printConnectedNodes function prints each level on a new line.

Program Output:

Connect nodes at same level


  • Efficient Tree Traversal: Connected nodes at the same level simplify tree traversal algorithms. Whether performing depth-first or breadth-first traversals, having direct links between siblings reduces the time complexity of these operations.
  • Binary Tree to Doubly Linked List Conversion: The ability to connect nodes at the same level is useful in converting a binary tree into a doubly linked list efficiently. This transformation is often required in certain applications where a linear data structure is more suitable.
  • Tree-Based Networking Structures: In computer networks, hierarchical structures are prevalent. Connecting nodes at the same level can enhance the efficiency of operations such as broadcasting messages or routing within the network.


In conclusion, addressing the "Connect Nodes at Same Level" problem requires a thoughtful approach to tree traversal and connection establishment. One commonly employed solution involves utilizing level order traversal or breadth-first search techniques to systematically navigate through the tree while establishing connections between nodes at the same level. This ensures that nodes on the same level are linked together, facilitating easier access or information exchange between them.

Solving this problem may involve the implementation of auxiliary data structures, such as queues, to manage the traversal process effectively. These structures help maintain a synchronized order of nodes at each level, simplifying the process of connecting nodes.

Furthermore, the efficiency of the solution is crucial, especially in scenarios where large and complex trees are involved. Algorithms and data structures that optimize time and space complexity should be prioritized to ensure a scalable and performant solution.

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