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Treaps - Power and Simplicity of Randomisation

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Every computer scientist is familiar with binary search trees. They are widely applicable structures, and there are countless ways of making them efficient. We do this by making them balanced – for example, red-black trees enforce strict rules and fix them with tree rotations based on case analysis. Treaps are a BST too, but they take a different approach, which we’ll interpret geometrically, leaving us with a couple of simple cases. What’s interesting is that treaps use randomness to balance the tree. Equipped with them we’ll be able to design a data structure for performing efficient string operations, used in text editors or for solving dynamic connectivity problems.

This talk is part of the Churchill CompSci Talks series.

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