Improved Practical Compact Dynamic Tries
conference contributionposted on 10.09.2015, 08:36 by Andreas Poyias, Rajeev Raman
We consider the problem of implementing a dynamic trie with an emphasis on good practical performance. For a trie with n nodes with an alphabet of size σ, the information-theoretic lower bound is nlogσ+O(n) bits. The Bonsai data structure  supports trie operations in O(1) expected time (based on assumptions about the behaviour of hash functions). While its practical speed performance is excellent, its space usage of (1+ϵ)n(logσ+O(loglogn)) bits, where ϵ is any constant >0, is not asymptotically optimal. We propose an alternative, m-Bonsai, that uses (1+ϵ)n(logσ+O(1)) bits in expectation, and supports operations in O(1) expected time (again based on assumptions about the behaviour of hash functions). We give a heuristic implementation of m-Bonsai which uses considerably less memory and is slightly faster than the original Bonsai.