a new type of collection to store keys and their corresponding values

4 releases

0.1.4 Dec 6, 2020
0.1.3 Dec 6, 2020
0.1.2 Aug 28, 2020
0.1.0 Aug 25, 2020

#18 in #collections

GPL-3.0 license

352 lines

Sequence Tree Collection

a collection for fast read and right storage of sequential data

(as an alternative to hashtable)


Sequence trees are a new type of collection that allows to store data using a key that is a sequence (such as string) and fetch then corresponding value to that key at a time that is relative to the length of the key and the amount of similar keys that already exist in the tree

This collection is meant to provide an alternative to hashtables which relay on a hash functions to convert the sequence to a place in an array.


The advantages of hashtables is the time in take to fetch or store a key is often dependent on the time is takes to hash said key, which in most cases is rather quick, but they have a drawback because a hash function have collision, meaning two different values passed to the hash function can generate the same hash. To solve this many work arounds have been developed and implemented but they all require some computationally expensive operations. In addition to that, when as hashtable stores more and more values resizing of the array in the backend of the hashtable is required which can be an expensive operation.

Sequence Trees

In come Sequence Trees! sequence trees break up a given key in to nodes with each node holding one element of the sequence (in case of strings a character), and each node linked to it's next neighbor (like a linked list), Then the very last value holds the actual value assigned to the key. Now to fetch the value of a key one simply need to follow each node in the tree in accordance the sequence of the key and easily reach the value, no hash function needed!. One advantage of this is that the keys are naturally compressed simply due to the nature of this collection, but the challange to making the tree fast is in the way one finds the correct next node since one node (character) can link to multiple other characters (up to as much as in your character encoding). Because characters are backed by numbers I was able to simply store the next nodes of each node in a Binary Search Tree, but one can also use hashtables (which can be expensive memory wise since they reserve space), or even just a plain array (but that would be rather slow).

Sequence trees are slower than hashtables since they need to follow each element in the sequence by finding the correct next node in the many next nodes each node can potentially hold. for this reason also similarity of the keys provides a speed boost.

Current State

Tree is implemented generically, for this implementation though type used for the key must have the following traits PartialOrd + PartialEq + Copy + Default since a binary tree is used to find the next node. Deletion of keys is currently supported but not thoroughly tested so use at your own risk and please inform me if you find any issues.

The plan for the future is mainly performance testing and documentation

How to use:

let mut st: SequenceTree<char, u64> = SequenceTree::new(); // initialize tree

let key: Vec<char> = String::from("hello").chars().collect(); // create key

st.set(key.to_owned(), 55); // set key

println!("{:?}", st.get(key) ); //get value of key


  • deletion of keys and values from tree
    • implement
    • more thorough testing
  • make generic implementation
  • expand README to include
    • picture explantions,
    • efficiency calculation
    • preformance chart to compare with current solutions
  • comments in code

No runtime deps