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STL containers map, set, and list with fast array access

, 5 Aug 2002 CPOL
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Source code for STL compliant container classes that add fast indexing capability to existing container types
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This source code contains five STL compliant container classes with the following names:


Each of these implements the same interface as the STL class in the second part of its name. In addition, each one also implements the STL interface for the vector<T> class, providing fast array access via operator[] and at(). T is the type of the contained class. Key is the type of the lookup key for pair-associative containers. Cmp is the comparison predicate and must be a binary predicate with arguments of type T for set and type Key for map. If you do not provide a comparison predicate, it will default to std::less<Arg>.

The classes are all derived from an AVL tree that I borrowed form Adreas Jager (copyright included) and modified to allow for the indexed access. Each tree node contains an extra long integer that holds the number of child nodes below it. The algorithm to update these counts does not add to the complexity of any of the original tree algorithms. Since the interfaces are documented in the STL, I will simply provide the complexity analysis below. I believe I have covered the most-used functions of these containers, but some functions may not be included. Please contact me if you wish to add another STL function and I will be glad to update the source.

Complexity Analysis


An index_list is a sequence which combines the interfaces of array, deque, and list.

Here are the complexity comparisons with other sequence containers:

array deque list index_list
Indexed access 1 1 (N) lgN
Insert/delete N N 1 1+
Front insertion(N) 1+ 1 1+
Back insertion 1+ 1+ 1 1+

It tends to work best for large sets (N >> 1).

It also has the extra function insert(const T&), usually used for sets, which chooses an insert position that keeps the tree balanced with a minimal number of rotation operations.


These classes implement the STL interfaces for set, multiset, map, and multimap respectively, along with the indexed access (operator[], at()). Here are the complexity comparisons with other associative containers:

arraylistsetindex_set/map etc.
Indexed access 1 (N) (N+) lgN
Insert/delete N 1 1+ 1+
Search lgNN lgN lgN



21 July 2002 - updated downloads

6 Aug 2002 - updated downloads


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Ray Virzi

United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: performance issues PinmemberJörgen Sigvardsson8-Nov-04 13:29 
GeneralRe: performance issues PinmemberRay Virzi7-Aug-02 16:23 
Generalindex_multimap->count() function return invalid result PinsussLongbird4-Aug-02 16:04 
GeneralAn example would be helpful PinmemberMatt Philmon2-May-02 6:43 
GeneralRe: An example would be helpful PinmemberRay Virzi2-May-02 22:10 
GeneralRe: An example would be helpful PinmemberCarl Berg6-Aug-02 3:55 
QuestionUpdates? PinmemberErnesto Perales Soto3-Dec-01 11:52 
AnswerRe: Updates? PinmemberRay Virzi27-Feb-02 16:50 PinmemberJames Curran3-Dec-01 9:33 
AnswerRe: PinmemberRay Virzi27-Feb-02 16:52 
GeneralMissing map operator = PinmemberErnesto Perales Soto8-Mar-01 12:47 
GeneralRe: Missing map operator = PinmemberRay Virzi8-Mar-01 17:44 

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