Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Optimal Binary Trees in Online Algorithms

Daniel Sleator, Muralidhar Talupur

September 2002

Keywords: Optimal binary trees, online algorithms, competitive analysis

Some binary search tree algorithms, such as splay trees, structure the tree in a way that depends on the history of accesses. In this paper we consider what happens if at each point in time the optimal binary search tree (for the access frequencies seen so far) is maintained. We prove lower and upper bounds on the competitive ratio (with respect to the final optimal tree) of such an algorithm.

11 pages

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