Mathematical systems theory

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 99-127

First online:

Design and implementation of an efficient priority queue

  • P. van Emde BoasAffiliated withMathematical Centre
  • , R. KaasAffiliated withMathematical Centre
  • , E. ZijlstraAffiliated withMathematical Institute, University of Amsterdam

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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.