Union-find with constant time deletions

Stephen Alstrup, Inge Li Gørtz, Theis Rauhe, Mikkel Thorup, Uri Zwick

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A union-find data structure maintains a collection of disjoint sets under makeset, union and find operations. Kaplan, Shafrir and Tarjan [SODA 2002] designed data structures for an extension of the unionfind problem in which elements of the sets maintained may be deleted. The cost of a delete operation in their implementations is the same as the cost of a find operation. They left open the question whether delete operations can be implemented more efficiently than find operations. We resolve this open problem by presenting a relatively simple modification of the classical union-find data structure that supports delete, as well as makeset and union, operations in constant time, while still supporting find operations in O(log n) worst-case time and O(α(n)) amortized time, where n is the number of elements in the set returned by the find operation, and a(n) is a functional inverse of Ackermann's function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science
StatePublished - 2005
Event32nd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming, ICALP 2005 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 11 Jul 200515 Jul 2005


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