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In computing, associative containers refer to a group of class templates in the standard library of the C++ programming language that implement ordered associative arrays . [ 1 ] Being templates , they can be used to store arbitrary elements, such as integers or custom classes. The following containers are defined in the current revision of the C++ standard: set , map , multiset , multimap . Each of these containers differ only on constraints placed on their elements. The associative containers are similar to the unordered associative containers in C++ standard library , the only difference is that the unordered associative containers, as their name implies, do not order their elements. [ edit ] Design
Suppose that you're working with some data that has values associated with strings -- for instance, you might have student usernames and you want to assign them grades. How would you go about storing this in C++? One option would be to write your own hash table . This will require writing a hash function and handling collisions, and lots of testing to make sure you got it right.