Managing Trees in MySQL Using the Adjacency List Model

Trees and hierarchies can be found everywhere. In our computers’ filesystem, in online shops’ product hierarchies, in the organizational structure of a company, in blog categories, in family trees, the structure of an html page or in geography tables managing the relation between continents, countries cities.

In this article I will describe managing those type of data structure in MySQL using the Adjacency List Model.

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Recursive Algorithms

Recursion in computer science is an approach to solve complex problems by splitting them into smaller, similar ones. Often a defined function is being applied in it’s own definition. To not end up in an infinite loop or a stack overflow, the function definition reaches a base case, where no further recursive call occurs.

A visual form of recursion known as Droste-Effect where a picture is recursively appearing within itself.
(Pink Floyd‘s 4th album Ummagumma)
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