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Why can't a Priority Queue Wrap around like an Ordinary Queue?

In this tutorial, we'll look at why a Priority Queue can't wrap around like a regular queue.

Priority Queue

A priority queue is a form of queue where every piece has a priority value given to it. All elements are given in order of priority. This shows that higher priority components are given first. If components having the same priority appear, those will be given in the order they were queued. An array, a linked list, a heap data structure, or a binary search tree can all be used to build a priority queue. Among all these data structures, the heap data structure implements priority queues efficiently.

By using array and wrap around, we implement Queues:

An array has the ability to implement a queue:

  • It takes O(1) time to add and remove items.
  • size is restricted
  • must keep track of where the queue starts and stops in the field
  • The queue may eventually "wrap around" the end of the field; this is not an issue, but rather a special circumstance that must be handled.

What exactly is Wrap Around?

To overcome the problem of being unable to input an element though if the queue may not be full, the queue's front and back arrows wrap it around beginning of the field. All of that is known as a ring queue or ring buffer. The back arrow is now placed below the front arrow after being wrapped, reversing the original order.

Why can't a priority queue be like a regular queue and wrap around?

  • One of most popular priority queue implementation is a binary heap, that doesn't advantage from wrapping.
  • We could implement a priority queue in such a ring buffer, however efficiency may decrease.
  • It really is vital to understand that such a priority queue is a data structure that is abstract. It specifies the operations and not their execution. A priority queue can be implemented in various ways, including a binary heap, sorted array, unsorted array, binary tree, skipped list, linked list, and others.
  • A priority queue might be built in a variety of ways.
  • In contrast, a binary heap seems to be a subset of the priority queue abstract data type.
  • Through perspective of stack vs. queue, stacks and queues are simply specializations of priority queues.
  • Once time is factored in, the queue (a FIFO data structure) becomes a priority queue, with the oldest item receiving the highest priority.
  • A stack (LIFO data structure) is a prioritized queue that favours the most recently added item.


A queue is a linear data structure that keeps elements in a specific order. It accesses elements using the FIFO (First In First Out) method. Queues are commonly used in multithreading and priority queuing systems to manage threads. In programming, a queue is an important data structure. A queue operates on the FIFO (First In First Out) principle and is open at both ends. Data is inserted at one end of the queue, known as the back end or tail, and deleted at the other end, known as the front end or head of the queue.

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