Meldable heaps and Boolean union-find

Haim Kaplan, Nira Shafrir, Robert E. Tarjan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In the classical meldable heap data type we maintain an item-disjoint collection of heaps under the operations findmin, insert, delete, decrease-key, and meld. In the usual definition decrease-key and delete get the item and the heap containing it as parameters. We consider the modified problem where decrease-key and delete get only the item but not the heap containing it. We show that for this problem one of the operations find-min, decrease-key, or meld must take non-constant time. This is in contrast with the original data type in which data structures supporting all these three operations in constant time are known (both in an amortized and a worst-case setting). To establish our results for meldable heaps we consider a weaker version of the union-find problem that is of independent interest, which we call Boolean union-find. In the Boolean union-find problem the find operation is a binary predicate that gets an item x and a set A and answers positively if and only if x ∈ A. We prove that the lower bounds which hold for union-find in the cell probe model hold for Boolean union-find as well. We also suggest new heap data structures implementing the modified meldable heap data type that are based on redundant binary counters. Our data structures have good worst-case bounds. The best of our data structures matches the worst-case lower bounds which we establish for the problem. The simplest of our data structures is an interesting generalization of binomial queues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalConference Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
StatePublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the 34th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing - Montreal, Que., Canada
Duration: May 19 2002May 21 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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