Skip Lists

Max W. Haslbeck and Manuel Eberl

9 January 2020

Abstract

Skip lists are sorted linked lists enhanced with shortcuts and are an alternative to binary search trees. A skip lists consists of multiple levels of sorted linked lists where a list on level n is a subsequence of the list on level n − 1. In the ideal case, elements are skipped in such a way that a lookup in a skip lists takes O(log n) time. In a randomised skip list the skipped elements are choosen randomly.

This entry contains formalized proofs of the textbook results about the expected height and the expected length of a search path in a randomised skip list.

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