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I'm researching binary trees and came across this section describing storage methods.

It states that:

In a language with records and references, binary trees are typically constructed by having a tree node structure which contains some data and references to its left child and its right child...

...This method of storing binary trees wastes a fair bit of memory, as the pointers will be null (or point to the sentinel) more than half the time...

Can someone demonstrate or further explain why this happens?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_tree#Methods_for_storing_binary_trees

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you understand the other method that Wikipedia suggests, namely storing a binary tree as an array? Compare the space usage of both methods. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Mar 2 at 10:04

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