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What is the difference between Heap and Red-Black Tree?

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What is Heap?

A Heap is a special Tree-based data structure in which the tree is a complete binary tree. There are two types of heap – Min heap and Max heap.

To learn more about heap, go through the following article: Introduction to Heap

What is a Red-Black Tree?

  • The red-Black tree is a self-balancing binary search tree in which each node contains an extra bit for denoting the color of the node, either red or black.

Differences between Heap and Red-Black Tree



Red Black Tree

1.  You can’t find an arbitrary element in a heap in O(log N). 1. You can find an arbitrary element in a Red-Black Tree in O(log N).
2.  Implement using a complete binary tree. 2. Implement using a self-balancing binary search tree.
3.  Ordering, parent < children in Min Heap and parent > children in Max Heap. 3. Ordering, left child < parent < right child.
4.   The structure is implicit, the root is at position 0, and children of the root are at 1 and 2, so no overhead per element. 4. Pointers are used to represent the structure of the tree, so overhead per element.
5.  Typical use, priority queue, and heap sort. 5. Typical use, TreeSet, TreeMap, and Hashmap in the Java Collections Library and ordered map in C++ STL.
6. Heap does not support efficient search operation Red-black tree provides efficient search operations due to its ordered binary search tree data structure.
7. Requires less space than red-black tree. Requires more space as it stores data of colour.
8. Specialized data structure. General-purpose data structure.
9. Heap has a simpler deletion operation compared to red-black tree since it only involves removing the root node and then fixing the heap property by swapping nodes.  Red-black tree, on the other hand, requires more complex rotations and color changes to maintain the balance property.
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Last Updated : 21 May, 2023
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