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Python - Delete the last node of the Linked List



In this method, the last node of the linked list is deleted. For example - if the given list is 10->20->30->40 and the last node is deleted, the list becomes 10->20->30.

Deleting the last node of the Linked List involves checking the head for empty. If it is not empty, then check the head next for empty. If the head next is empty, then release the head, else traverse to the second last node of the list. Then, link the next of second last node to NULL and delete the last node.

Linked List - Delete Last Node

The function pop_back is created for this purpose. It is a 3-step process.

def pop_back(self):
  if(self.head != None):
    
    #1. if head in not null and next of head
    #   is null, release the head
    if(self.head.next == None):
      self.head = None
    else:
      
      #2. Else, traverse to the second last 
      #   element of the list
      temp = self.head
      while(temp.next.next != None):
        temp = temp.next
      
      #3. Change the next of the second 
      #   last node to null and delete the
      #   last node
      lastNode = temp.next
      temp.next = None
      lastNode = None

The below is a complete program that uses above discussed concept of deleting the last node of the linked list.

# node structure
class Node:
  def __init__(self, data):
    self.data = data
    self.next = None

#class LinkedList
class LinkedList:
  def __init__(self):
    self.head = None

  #Add new element at the end of the list
  def push_back(self, newElement):
    newNode = Node(newElement)
    if(self.head == None):
      self.head = newNode
      return
    else:
      temp = self.head
      while(temp.next != None):
        temp = temp.next
      temp.next = newNode

  #Delete last node of the list
  def pop_back(self):
    if(self.head != None):
      if(self.head.next == None):
        self.head = None
      else:
        temp = self.head
        while(temp.next.next != None):
          temp = temp.next
        lastNode = temp.next
        temp.next = None
        lastNode = None

  #display the content of the list
  def PrintList(self):
    temp = self.head
    if(temp != None):
      print("The list contains:", end=" ")
      while (temp != None):
        print(temp.data, end=" ")
        temp = temp.next
      print()
    else:
      print("The list is empty.")

# test the code                  
MyList = LinkedList()

#Add four elements in the list.
MyList.push_back(10)
MyList.push_back(20)
MyList.push_back(30)
MyList.push_back(40)
MyList.PrintList()

#Delete the last node
MyList.pop_back()
MyList.PrintList()  

The above code will give the following output:

The list contains: 10 20 30 40
The list contains: 10 20 30

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