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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Concurrent operations on priority queues

Among the fastest priority queue implementations, skew heaps have properties that make them particularly suited to concurrent manipulation of shared queues. A concurrent version of the top down implementation of skew heaps can be produced from previously published sequential versions using almost mechanical transformations. This implementation requires O(log n) time to enqueue or dequeue an item, but it allows new operations to begin after only O(1) time on a MIMD machine. Thus, there is potential for significant concurrency when multiple processes share a queue. Applications to problems in graph theory and simulation are discussed in this article.

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