[][src]Crate intrusive_splay_tree

An intrusive, allocation-free splay tree implementation.

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Splay trees are self-adjusting, meaning that operating on an element (for example, doing a find or an insert) rebalances the tree in such a way that the element becomes the root. This means that subsequent operations on that element are O(1) as long as no other element is operated on in the meantime.

Implementation and Goals

  • Intrusive: The space for the subtree pointers is stored inside the element type. In non-intrusive trees, we would have a node type that contains the subtree pointers and either a pointer to the element or we would move the element into the node. The intrusive design inverts the relationship, so that the elements hold the subtree pointers within themselves.

  • Freedom from allocations and moves: The intrusive design enables this implementation to fully avoid both allocations and moving elements in memory. Since the space for subtree pointers already exists in the element, no allocation is necessary, just a handful of pointer writes. Therefore, this implementation can be used in constrained environments that don't have access to an allocator (e.g. some embedded devices or within a signal handler) and with types that can't move in memory (e.g. pthread_mutex_t).

  • Small code size: This implementation is geared towards small code size, and uses trait objects internally to avoid the code bloat induced by monomorphization. This implementation is suitable for targeting WebAssembly, where code is downloaded over the network, and code bloat delays Web page loading.

  • Nodes do not have parent pointers: An intrusive node is only two words in size: left and right sub tree pointers. There are no parent pointers, which would require another word of overhead. To meet this goal, the implementation uses the "top-down" variant of splay trees.


  • Elements within a tree must all have the same lifetime. This means that you must use something like the bumpalo crate for allocation, or be working with static data, etc.

  • Elements in an intrusive collections are inherently shared. They are always potentially aliased by the collection(s) they are in. In the other direction, a particular intrusive collection only has a shared reference to the element, since elements can both be in many intrusive collections at the same time. Therefore, you cannot get a unique, mutable reference to an element out of an intrusive splay tree. To work around this, you may need to liberally use interior mutability, for example by leveraging Cell, RefCell, and Mutex.


This example defines a Monster type, where each of its instances live within two intrusive trees: one ordering monsters by their name, and the other ordering them by their health.

use intrusive_splay_tree::{impl_intrusive_node, SplayTree};

use std::cmp::Ordering;
use std::marker::PhantomData;

// We have a monster type, and we want to query monsters by both name and
// health.
struct Monster<'a> {
    name: String,
    health: u64,

    // An intrusive node so we can put monsters in a tree to query by name.
    by_name_node: intrusive_splay_tree::Node<'a>,

    // Another intrusive node so we can put monsters in a second tree (at
    // the same time!) and query them by health.
    by_health_node: intrusive_splay_tree::Node<'a>,

// Define a type for trees where monsters are ordered by name.
struct MonstersByName;

// Implement `IntrusiveNode` for the `MonstersByName` tree, where the
// element type is `Monster` and the field in `Monster` that has this tree's
// intrusive node is `by_name`.
impl_intrusive_node! {
    impl<'a> IntrusiveNode<'a> for MonstersByName
        type Elem = Monster<'a>,
        node = by_name_node;

// Define how to order `Monster`s within the `MonstersByName` tree by
// implementing `TreeOrd`.
impl<'a> intrusive_splay_tree::TreeOrd<'a, MonstersByName> for Monster<'a> {
    fn tree_cmp(&self, rhs: &Monster<'a>) -> Ordering {

// And do all the same things for trees where monsters are ordered by health...
struct MonstersByHealth;
impl_intrusive_node! {
    impl<'a> IntrusiveNode<'a> for MonstersByHealth
        type Elem = Monster<'a>,
        node = by_health_node;
impl<'a> intrusive_splay_tree::TreeOrd<'a, MonstersByHealth> for Monster<'a> {
    fn tree_cmp(&self, rhs: &Monster<'a>) -> Ordering {

// We can also implement `TreeOrd` for other types, so that we can query the
// tree by these types. For example, we want to query the `MonstersByHealth`
// tree by some `u64` health value, and we want to query the `MonstersByName`
// tree by some `&str` name value.

impl<'a> intrusive_splay_tree::TreeOrd<'a, MonstersByHealth> for u64 {
    fn tree_cmp(&self, rhs: &Monster<'a>) -> Ordering {

impl<'a> intrusive_splay_tree::TreeOrd<'a, MonstersByName> for str {
    fn tree_cmp(&self, rhs: &Monster<'a>) -> Ordering {

impl<'a> Monster<'a> {
    /// The `Monster` constructor allocates `Monster`s in a bump arena, and
    /// inserts the new `Monster` in both trees.
    pub fn new(
        arena: &'a bumpalo::Bump,
        name: String,
        health: u64,
        by_name_tree: &mut SplayTree<'a, MonstersByName>,
        by_health_tree: &mut SplayTree<'a, MonstersByHealth>
    ) -> &'a Monster<'a> {
        let monster = arena.alloc(Monster {
            by_name_node: Default::default(),
            by_health_node: Default::default(),



fn main() {
    // The arena that the monsters will live within.
    let mut arena = bumpalo::Bump::new();

    // The splay trees ordered by name and health respectively.
    let mut by_name_tree = SplayTree::default();
    let mut by_health_tree = SplayTree::default();

    // Now let's create some monsters, inserting them into the trees!

        "Frankenstein's Monster".into(),
        &mut by_name_tree,
        &mut by_health_tree,

        &mut by_name_tree,
        &mut by_health_tree,

        &mut by_name_tree,
        &mut by_health_tree,

    // Query the `MonstersByName` tree by a name.

    let godzilla = by_name_tree.find("Godzilla").unwrap();
    assert_eq!(godzilla.name, "Godzilla");


    // Query the `MonstersByHealth` tree by a health.

    let vegeta = by_health_tree.find(&9001).unwrap();
    assert_eq!(vegeta.name, "Vegeta");




Implement IntrusiveNode for a particular kind of SplayTree and its element type.



A splay tree node that is embedded within some container type.


An intrusive splay tree.



Defines how to get the intrusive node from a particular kind of SplayTree's element type.


A total ordering between the Self type and the tree's element type T::Elem.


A trait that guides whether SplayTree::walk should continue or break, and what the return value is.