#vector #index #option #arena #bitvec

no-std stable-vec

A Vec-like collection which guarantees stable indices and features O(1) element deletion (semantically similar to Vec<Option<T>>). Useful for allocations in graphs or similar data structures.

6 releases

0.4.0 Aug 27, 2019
0.3.2 Apr 9, 2019
0.3.1 Jan 24, 2019
0.2.1 Sep 26, 2018
0.1.0 Jun 21, 2017

#499 in Data structures

Download history 218/week @ 2021-04-02 326/week @ 2021-04-09 166/week @ 2021-04-16 156/week @ 2021-04-23 129/week @ 2021-04-30 82/week @ 2021-05-07 74/week @ 2021-05-14 72/week @ 2021-05-21 67/week @ 2021-05-28 58/week @ 2021-06-04 59/week @ 2021-06-11 38/week @ 2021-06-18 66/week @ 2021-06-25 88/week @ 2021-07-02 63/week @ 2021-07-09 80/week @ 2021-07-16

622 downloads per month
Used in 5 crates (3 directly)


2.5K SLoC


Build Status crates.io version docs

A Vec<T>-like collection which guarantees stable indices and features O(1) element removal at the cost of wasting some memory. It is semantically very similar to Vec<Option<T>>, but with a more optimized memory layout and a more convenient API. This data structure is very useful as a foundation to implement other data structures like graphs and polygon meshes. In those situations, stable-vec functions a bit like an arena memory allocator. This crate works in #![no_std] context (it needs the alloc crate, though).

This crate implements different strategies to store the information. As these strategies have slightly different performance characteristics, the user can choose which to use. The two main strategies are:

  • something similar to Vec<T> with a BitVec (used by default), and
  • something similar to Vec<Option<T>>.

Please refer to the documentation for more information. Example:

let mut sv = StableVec::new();
let star_idx = sv.push('');
let heart_idx = sv.push('');
let lamda_idx = sv.push('λ');

// Deleting an element does not invalidate any other indices.
assert_eq!(sv[heart_idx], '');
assert_eq!(sv[lamda_idx], 'λ');

// You can insert into empty slots (again, without invalidating any indices)
sv.insert(star_idx, '');

// We can also reserve memory (create new empty slots) and insert into
// these new slots. All slots up to `sv.capacity()` can be accessed.
assert_eq!(sv.get(15), None);
sv.insert(15, '');

// The final state of the stable vec
assert_eq!(sv.get(0), Some(&''));
assert_eq!(sv.get(1), Some(&''));
assert_eq!(sv.get(2), Some(&'λ'));
assert_eq!(sv.get(3), None);
assert_eq!(sv.get(14), None);
assert_eq!(sv.get(15), Some(&''));

Alternatives? What about slab?

The crate slab works very similar to stable-vec, but has way more downloads. Despite being very similar, there are a few differences which might be important for you:

  • slab reuses keys of deleted entries, while stable-vec does not automatically.
  • slab does a bit more management internally to quickly know which keys to reuse and where to insert. This might incur a tiny bit of overhead. Most notably: each entry in the underlying Vec in slab is at least size_of::<usize>() + 1 bytes large. If you're storing small elements, this might be a significant memory usage overhead.
  • slab has a fixed memory layout while stable-vec lets you choose between different layouts. These have different performance characteristics and you might want to choose the right one for your situation.
  • The API of stable-vec is a bit more low level.


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Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.