Fast, Small, Simple Rank/Select on Bitmaps

  • Gonzalo Navarro
  • Eliana Providel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7276)


Rank and select queries on bitmaps are fundamental for the construction of a variety of compact data structures. Both can, in theory, be answered in constant time by spending o(n) extra bits on top of the original bitmap, of length n, or of a compressed version of it. However, while the solution for rank is indeed simple and practical, a similar result for select has been elusive, and practical compact data structure implementations avoid its use whenever possible. In addition, the overhead of the o(n) extra bits is in many cases very significant. In this paper we bridge the gap between theory and practice by presenting two structures, one using the bitmap in plain form and another using a compressed form, that are simple to implement and combine much lower space overheads than previous work with excellent time performance for rank and select queries. In particular, our structure for plain bitmaps is far smaller and faster for select than any previous structure, while competitive for rank with the best previous structures of similar size.


Block Size Extra Space Sparse Array Space Overhead Rank Query 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonzalo Navarro
    • 1
  • Eliana Providel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ChileChile
  2. 2.Escuela de Ingeniería Civil Informática, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de ValparaísoValparaísoChile

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