Concept

Soft heap

Résumé
In computer science, a soft heap is a variant on the simple heap data structure that has constant amortized time complexity for 5 types of operations. This is achieved by carefully "corrupting" (increasing) the keys of at most a constant number of values in the heap. Details The constant time operations are:
  • create(S): Create a new soft heap
  • insert(S, x): Insert an element into a soft heap
  • meld(S, S' ): Combine the contents of two soft heaps into one, destroying both
  • delete(S, x): Delete an element from a soft heap
  • findmin(S): Get the element with minimum key in the soft heap
Other heaps such as Fibonacci heaps achieve most of these bounds without any corruption, but cannot provide a constant-time bound on the critical delete operation. The amount of corruption can be controlled by the choice of a parameter ε, but the lower this is set, the more time insertions require (O(log 1/ε) for an error rate of ε). More precisely, the guarantee offered by the soft heap is
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