Hollow heaps

Thomas Dueholm Hansen, Haim Kaplan, Robert E. Tarjan, Uri Zwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We introduce the hollow heap, a very simple data structure with the same amortized efficiency as the classical Fibonacci heap. All heap operations except delete and delete-min take O(1) time, worst case as well as amortized; delete and delete-min take O(logn) amortized time on a heap of n items. Hollow heaps are the simplest structure to achieve these bounds. Hollow heaps combine two novel ideas: the use of lazy deletion and re-insertion to do decrease-key operations and the use of a dag (directed acyclic graph) instead of a tree or set of trees to represent a heap. Lazy deletion produces hollow nodes (nodes without items), giving the data structure its name.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalACM Transactions on Algorithms
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)


  • Amortized analysis
  • Data structures
  • Heaps
  • Priority queues


Dive into the research topics of 'Hollow heaps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this