Back to Course


0% Complete
0/82 Steps
  1. Getting Started with Algorithm
    What is an Algorithm?
  2. Characteristics of Algorithm
    1 Topic
  3. Analysis Framework
  4. Performance Analysis
    3 Topics
  5. Mathematical Analysis
    2 Topics
  6. Sorting Algorithm
    Sorting Algorithm
    10 Topics
  7. Searching Algorithm
    6 Topics
  8. Fundamental of Data Structures
  9. Queues
  10. Graphs
  11. Trees
  12. Sets
  13. Dictionaries
  14. Divide and Conquer
    General Method
  15. Binary Search
  16. Recurrence Equation for Divide and Conquer
  17. Finding the Maximum and Minimum
  18. Merge Sort
  19. Quick Sort
  20. Stassen’s Matrix Multiplication
  21. Advantages and Disadvantages of Divide and Conquer
  22. Decrease and Conquer
    Insertion Sort
  23. Topological Sort
  24. Greedy Method
    General Method
  25. Coin Change Problem
  26. Knapsack Problem
  27. Job Sequencing with Deadlines
  28. Minimum Cost Spanning Trees
    2 Topics
  29. Single Source Shortest Paths
    1 Topic
  30. Optimal Tree Problem
    1 Topic
  31. Transform and Conquer Approach
    1 Topic
  32. Dynamic Programming
    General Method with Examples
  33. Multistage Graphs
  34. Transitive Closure
    1 Topic
  35. All Pairs Shortest Paths
    6 Topics
  36. Backtracking
    General Method
  37. N-Queens Problem
  38. Sum of Subsets problem
  39. Graph Coloring
  40. Hamiltonian Cycles
  41. Branch and Bound
    2 Topics
  42. 0/1 Knapsack problem
    2 Topics
  43. NP-Complete and NP-Hard Problems
    1 Topic
Lesson 31, Topic 1
In Progress

Heaps and Heap Sort

Lesson Progress
0% Complete

The data structure called the “heap” is definitely not a disordered pile of items as the word’s definition in a standard dictionary might suggest. Rather, it is a clever, partially ordered data structure that is especially suitable for implementing priority queues. Recall that a priority queue is a multiset of items with an orderable characteristic called an item’s priority, with the following operations:

KodNest Capture62
FIGURE 2: Illustration of the definition of heap: only the leftmost tree is a heap.

It is primarily an efficient implementation of these operations that makes the heap both interesting and useful. Priority queues arise naturally in such applications as scheduling job executions by computer operating systems and traffic management by communication networks. They also arise in several important algorithms, e.g., Prim’s algorithm, Dijkstra’s algorithm, Huffman encoding, and branch-and bound applications. The heap is also the data structure that serves as a cornerstone of a theoretically important sorting algorithm called heapsort.

Notion Heap

DEFINITION A heap can be defined as a binary tree with keys assigned to its nodes, one key per node, provided the following two conditions are met:

  1. The shape property—the binary tree is essentially complete (or simply complete), i.e., all its levels are full except possibly the last level, where only some rightmost leaves may be missing.
  2. The parental dominance or heap property—the key in each node is greater than or equal to the keys in its children. (This condition is considered automatically satisfied for all leaves.)

For example, consider the trees of Figure 2. The first tree is a heap. The second one is not a heap, because the tree’s shape property is violated. And the third one is not a heap, because the parental dominance fails for the node with key 5.

Note that key values in a heap are ordered top down; i.e., a sequence of values on any path from the root to a leaf is decreasing (nonincreasing, if equal keys are allowed). However, there is no left-to-right order in key values; i.e., there is no relationship among key values for nodes either on the same level of the tree or, more generally, in the left and right subtrees of the same node.

Here is a list of important properties of heaps, which are not difficult to prove(check these properties for the heap of Figure 3, as an example)

KodNest Capture63
FIGURE 3: Heap and its array representation.
  1. There exists exactly one essentially complete binary tree with n nodes. Its height is equal to [log2 n].
  2. The root of a heap always contains its largest element.
  3. A node of a heap considered with all its descendants is also a heap.
  4. A heap can be implemented as an array by recording its elements in the topdown, left-to-right fashion. It is convenient to store the heap’s elements in positions 1 through n of such an array, leaving H[0] either unused or putting there a sentinel whose value is greater than every element in the heap. In such a representation,
    a. the parental node keys will be in the first [n/2] positions of the array, while the leaf keys will occupy the last [n/2] positions;
    b. the children of a key in the array’s parental position i (1 ≤ i ≤ n/2) will be in positions 2i and 2i + 1, and, correspondingly, the parent of a key in position i (2 ≤ i ≤ n) will be in position [i/2].

Thus, we could also define a heap as an array H[1..n] in which every element in position i in the first half of the array is greater than or equal to the elements in positions 2i and 2i + 1, i.e.,

H[i] ≥ max{H[2i], H[2i + 1]} for i = 1,…, [n/2].

(Of course, if 2i + 1 > n, just H[i] ≥ H[2i] needs to be satisfied.) While the ideas behind the majority of algorithms dealing with heaps are easier to understand if we think of heaps as binary trees, their actual implementations are usually much simpler and more efficient with arrays.

How can we construct a heap for a given list of keys? There are two principal alternatives for doing this. The first is the bottom-up heap construction algorithm illustrated in Figure 4. It initializes the essentially complete binary tree with n nodes by placing keys in the order given and then “heapifies” the tree as follows. Starting with the last parental node, the algorithm checks whether the parental dominance holds for the key in this node. If it does not, the algorithm exchanges the node’s key K with the larger key of its children and checks whether the parental dominance holds for K in its new position. This process continues until the parental dominance for K is satisfied. (Eventually, it has to because it holds automatically for any key in a leaf.) After completing the “heapification” of the subtree rooted at the current parental node, the algorithm proceeds to do the same for the node’s immediate predecessor. The algorithm stops after this is done for the root of the tree.

KodNest Capture64
FIGURE 4: Bottom-up construction of a heap for the list 2, 9, 7, 6, 5, 8. The double headed arrows show key comparisons verifying the parental dominance.

Implementing Heap Sort Algorithm

/*  Below program is written in C++ language  */

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

void heapify(int arr[], int n, int i)
    int largest = i;
    int l = 2*i + 1;
    int r = 2*i + 2;
    // if left child is larger than root
    if (l < n && arr[l] > arr[largest])
        largest = l;
    // if right child is larger than largest so far
    if (r < n && arr[r] > arr[largest])
        largest = r;
    // if largest is not root
    if (largest != i)
        swap(arr[i], arr[largest]);
        // recursively heapify the affected sub-tree
        heapify(arr, n, largest);

void heapSort(int arr[], int n)
    // build heap (rearrange array)
    for (int i = n / 2 - 1; i >= 0; i--)
        heapify(arr, n, i);
    // one by one extract an element from heap
    for (int i=n-1; i>=0; i--)
        // move current root to end
        swap(arr[0], arr[i]);
        // call max heapify on the reduced heap
        heapify(arr, i, 0);
/* function to print array of size n */
void printArray(int arr[], int n)
    for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
        cout << arr[i] << " ";
    cout << "\n";

int main()
    int arr[] = {121, 10, 130, 57, 36, 17};
    int n = sizeof(arr)/sizeof(arr[0]);
    heapSort(arr, n);
    cout << "Sorted array is \n";
    printArray(arr, n);

Complexity Analysis of Heap Sort

Worst Case Time Complexity: O(n*log n)

Best Case Time Complexity: O(n*log n)

Average Time Complexity: O(n*log n)

Space Complexity : O(1)

  • Heap sort is not a Stable sort, and requires a constant space for sorting a list.
  • Heap Sort is very fast and is widely used for sorting.

New Report