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This lecture marks our full entry into integer data structures (though hashing was also one), as
well as our first of three lectures on the predecessor problem: supporting insert, delete, and
predecessor/successor on a set of n w-bit integers. I'll give an overview of what's known about
this problem, as well as the appropriate models of computation, and then proceed to the first
main result: data structures achieving O(lg w) time per operation. When w is polylogarithmic in
n (a common case), this bound is O(lg lg n), an exponential improvement over binary search
trees. The first such data structure is called (and by) van Emde Boas, and it uses Θ(2w) space. A
little addition of hashing reduces the space to optimal Θ(n). We'll also see simpler ways to
achieve the same bounds, using a simple tree view, indirection, and structures called x-fast and
y-fast trees by Willard (who was actually the first to get Θ(n) space).
MIT OpenCourseWare
6.851 Advanced Data Structures
Spring 2012
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