Dynamic Hashing

Definition of Dynamic Hashing

Dynamic hashing, also known as extendible hashing, is a technique in computer science that enables efficient and flexible manipulation of data within a hash table. It allows the hash table to grow or shrink as needed, accommodating varying amounts of data without requiring a complete rehashing of the contents. This adaptability reduces data management overhead and improves performance, especially when dealing with large data sets or frequent changes in data size.


The phonetics of the keyword ‘Dynamic Hashing’ are:Dynamic: [dʌɪˈnæmɪk]Hashing: [ˈhæʃɪŋ]

Key Takeaways

  1. Dynamic hashing allows the hash table to expand or shrink its size in response to changes in the number of stored items, ensuring efficient use of storage space and reducing the probability of collision.
  2. It employs different algorithms such as linear hashing, extendible hashing, and consistent hashing to achieve a more uniform distribution of keys, resulting in improved overall performance.
  3. Dynamic hashing is particularly useful for databases and other applications where the number of records varies over time, as it can adapt to the current load and maintain a balanced distribution of keys across the table.

Importance of Dynamic Hashing

Dynamic Hashing is an important technology term because it refers to a flexible and efficient method of managing data in computer systems by eliminating the need for pre-defined data structures.

This adaptive approach allows for the automatic resizing of the hash table, yielding faster access and retrieval times, better storage utilization, and more effectively handling fluctuations in the volume of stored data.

By adjusting the number of buckets in the hash table and employing various hashing techniques, dynamic hashing ensures an ideal balance between computational complexity and storage space allocation.

In essence, dynamic hashing is crucial to optimizing system performance, minimizing the likelihood of data retrieval issues such as collisions and clustering, and adaptively managing ever-changing data requirements.


Dynamic hashing, also known as extendible hashing, is an advanced technique for organizing and retrieving data in databases and file systems with the purpose of achieving optimal performance and high efficiency. Unlike its counterpart, static hashing, which requires predefined hash table size, dynamic hashing efficiently adapts to a growing or shrinking dataset by adjusting the size of the hash table in real-time.

As a result, it minimizes collisions, facilitates rapid lookups, and reduces memory overhead by ensuring that the hash table is neither too large nor too small. This versatile technique is utilized in applications where elements are continuously added or removed, such as databases, search engines, and caching systems.

As new items are inserted, the size of the hash table expands along with the associated indexing structures. When the table becomes sparse, it automatically contracts to conserve memory.

Dynamic hashing thus offers a potent solution by providing consistent query times, efficient space management, and high adaptability to an ever-changing data load. This eliminates the need for manual intervention to resize and rehash a hash table, which would be otherwise arduous and require ample processing resources.

Examples of Dynamic Hashing

Dynamic hashing is a technique used in computer programming and databases management that allows hash tables to be resized as the number of items stored changes. It maintains balanced performance even as the dataset grows or shrinks. Here are three real-world examples of dynamic hashing technology in use:

Database Management Systems (DBMS): Dynamic hashing is often used in database management systems, such as Oracle and MySQL, to handle large amounts of data efficiently. By resizing the hash table as the data volume changes, DBMS can prevent performance degradation and maintain fast query execution times. For instance, when a database administrator retrieves or updates information in a large dataset, dynamic hashing can ensure that the entries are evenly distributed across the hash table, eliminating the risk of “hot spots” and ensuring quick access times.

Web Caching Systems: Dynamic hashing is employed in web caching systems like Varnish Cache, which stores copies of frequently accessed web resources to reduce the server load. As the number of cached resources increases or decreases due to user needs or available storage, Varnish Cache utilizes dynamic hashing to ensure that the associated hash table does not experience performance issues or waste excessive memory. This aids in providing a satisfactory user experience for site visitors.

Distributed Data Storage Systems: Dynamic hashing is crucial in distributed storage systems like Amazon DynamoDB and Google Bigtable. These platforms store vast amounts of data across multiple servers, and dynamic hashing enables them to route read and write operations efficiently. It allows the hash table to be resized as the dataset grows, which prevents performance bottlenecks and ensures that the data is accessed quickly. Additionally, it supports high availability and fault tolerance in these storage systems, as dynamic hashing can automatically redistribute data among servers without the need for manual intervention.Overall, dynamic hashing plays a significant role in maintaining efficient and fast operations in various applications, be it database management, caching systems, or distributed storage platforms.

Dynamic Hashing FAQ

1. What is dynamic hashing?

Dynamic hashing is a technique used in computer science for the organization and storage of data in a hash table, which allows the table to expand or shrink dynamically as more data is added or removed. This method helps maintain an efficient load factor, improving lookup and storage times.

2. How is dynamic hashing different from static hashing?

Static hashing involves the allocation of a fixed size for the hash table, resulting in a potential increase in the load factor and collision issues as more data is added. On the other hand, dynamic hashing allows the hash table size to change based on the amount of data, maintaining an efficient load factor and reducing collision problems.

3. When should dynamic hashing be used?

Dynamic hashing is beneficial when working with databases or data structures that experience frequent additions or removals of data, or when the size of the data set cannot be accurately predicted beforehand. It is ideal for environments where flexibility and efficiency are crucial.

4. What are some popular dynamic hashing techniques?

Some popular dynamic hashing techniques include linear hashing, extendible hashing, and consistent hashing. Each of these methods offers slightly different approaches to dynamic resizing and are often selected based on specific use cases and application requirements.

5. What are the main advantages of using dynamic hashing?

Using dynamic hashing has several advantages, such as reduced memory consumption, improved lookup performance, and lower chances of hash collisions. By enabling the hash table to grow or shrink as needed, dynamic hashing can maintain consistent performance levels even as the dataset size changes.

Related Technology Terms

  • Rehashing
  • Load Factor
  • Extendible Hashing
  • Linear Hashing
  • Bucket Splitting

Sources for More Information

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms