Mathematical systems theory

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 99–127

Design and implementation of an efficient priority queue


  • P. van Emde Boas
    • Mathematical Centre
  • R. Kaas
    • Mathematical Centre
  • E. Zijlstra
    • Mathematical InstituteUniversity of Amsterdam

DOI: 10.1007/BF01683268

Cite this article as:
van Emde Boas, P., Kaas, R. & Zijlstra, E. Math. Systems Theory (1976) 10: 99. doi:10.1007/BF01683268


We present a data structure, based upon a hierarchically decomposed tree, which enables us to manipulate on-line a priority queue whose priorities are selected from the interval 1,⋯,n with a worst case processing time of\(\mathcal{O}\) (log logn) per instruction. The structure can be used to obtain a mergeable heap whose time requirements are about as good. Full details are explained based upon an implementation of the structure in a PASCAL program contained in the paper.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1977