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12/10/13

Heap Data Structure.

Heap is a data structure, that has uses in sorting and in priority queues.

For more details of algorithms & data structures (they form programs after all) please see literature [4], perhaps more.

Heap is a data structure that can be considered as a full binary tree. It can be implemented in a table (array). Tree is full at every level, perhaps excluding lowest (leaves).

Having a tree node indexed by variable i, we can find parent's position in a table, or/and sons (LEFT, RIGHT):

PARENT(i) = i/2 (round down).
LEFT(i) = (2*i).
RIGHT(i) = (2*i)+1.

On most computers these calculations are fast, using bitwise shift operators.

Heaps also have a property called 'heap property' which means that every (and any) node's value is not greater than parent node's value (at every level).

A[PARENT(i)] >= A[i].

We define node's height as amount of edges (connections), on longest simple line between this node and leaf.

We define tree's height as root's height (tree's root is highest tree node).

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