Min Heap: Introduction

This lesson will give a brief introduction to Min-Heaps and how elements are inserted and removed from them .

Building a Min-Heap

As mentioned in a previous lesson, Min Heaps follow the Min Heap property, which means that the key at the parent node is always smaller than the keys at the child nodes. Heaps can be implemented using vectors. Initially, elements are placed in nodes in the same order as they appear in the vector. Then a function is called over the whole heap in a bottom-up manner that “Min Heapifies” or “percolates up” on this heap so that the heap property is restored. The “Min Heapify” function is bottom-up because it starts comparing and swapping parent-child key values from the last parent (at the n2\frac{n}{2}and index).

For a visual demonstration of heap creation, check out the following illustration.

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