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A Heap-Based Concurrent Priority Queue with Mutable Priorities for Faster Parallel Algorithms

Authors Orr Tamir, Adam Morrison, Noam Rinetzky

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Orr Tamir
Adam Morrison
Noam Rinetzky

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Orr Tamir, Adam Morrison, and Noam Rinetzky. A Heap-Based Concurrent Priority Queue with Mutable Priorities for Faster Parallel Algorithms. In 19th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 46, pp. 15:1-15:16, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


Existing concurrent priority queues do not allow to update the priority of an element after its insertion. As a result, algorithms that need this functionality, such as Dijkstra's single source shortest path algorithm, resort to cumbersome and inefficient workarounds. We report on a heap-based concurrent priority queue which allows to change the priority of an element after its insertion. We show that the enriched interface allows to express Dijkstra's algorithm in a more natural way, and that its implementation, using our concurrent priority queue, outperform existing algorithms.
  • priority queues
  • concurrent data structures
  • Dijkstra's single-source shortest path algorithm


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