Priority queue implementation provides code to implement priority queue using an ordered array. A priority queue is a queue in which we insert an element at the back (enqueue) and remove an element from the front (dequeue). In addition, every element has a priority associated with it. The element with the highest priority shall be dequeued first.

Table of Content


Map of priority queue implementations

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Part 1 – priority queue implementation – ordered array
Part 2 – priority queue implementation – unordered array
Part 3 – priority queue implementation with heap – iterative solution
Part 4 – priority queue implementation with heap – recursive solution


Enqueue

To enqueue an element in priority queue is the same as adding an element in a sorted array. If it is a descending priority (ie the bigger the key, the higher the priority), you can put the highest key at the end. If it is a ascending priority (ie the lower the key, the higher the priority), you put the lowest key at the end. In this implementation, we are applying descending priority.

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Doodle

priority queue ordered array


Dequeue

The dequeue operation is to remove the highest priority element from the array. Since the array is already sorted, we can just remove the last element.

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Peek

Peek is to return the value of the highest priority element. The same as dequeue, we simply return the value of the element at highest index.

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Print

Print is to print all elements in the array, starting from the index 0 to highest index. A for loop is used to iterate through each element.

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What’s the difference between ordered array and priority queue?

pq ordered array

Ordered array means all elements are in order. Priority queue is partially ordered. We just care the first element which is either the biggest or the smallest. Therefore you can use ordered array as the underneath data structure for priority queue with extra cost.