The pairing heap: A new form of self-adjusting heap

Michael L. Fredman, Robert Sedgewick, Daniel D. Sleator, Robert E. Tarjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Recently, Fredman and Tarjan invented a new, especially efficient form of heap (priority queue) called the Fibonacci heap. Although theoretically efficient, Fibonacci heaps are complicated to implement and not as fast in practice as other kinds of heaps. In this paper we describe a new form of heap, called the pairing heap, intended to be competitive with the Fibonacci heap in theory and easy to implement and fast in practice. We provide a partial complexity analysis of pairing heaps. Complete analysis remains an open problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Data structure
  • Heap
  • Priority queue


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