Daniel Dominic Kaplan Sleator (born 10 December 1953) is a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, United States. In 1999, he won the ACM Paris Kanellakis Award (jointly with Robert Tarjan) for the splay tree data structure.
He was one of the pioneers in amortized analysis of algorithms, early examples of which were the analyses of the move-to-front heuristic, and splay trees. He invented many data structures with Robert Tarjan, such as splay trees, link/cut trees, and skew heaps.
The Sleator and Tarjan paper on the move-to-front heuristic first suggested the idea of comparing an online algorithm to an optimal offline algorithm, for which the term competitive analysis was later coined in a paper of Karlin, Manasse, Rudolph, and Sleator. Sleator also developed the theory of link grammars, and the Serioso music analyzer for analyzing meter and harmony in written music.
Sleator was born to William Warner Sleator,