red-black trees : Java Glossary

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red-black trees
This is the modern equivalent of IBM (International Business Machines) ’s old ISAM (Indexed Sequential Access Method) Indexed Sequential Access Method or SoftCraft’s Btrieve. Red-black trees allow you to both iterate through a collection in the proper sequential order and lookup directly by key. A red-black tree is a binary search tree that uses an extra bit on every node to store the node’s colour, (Colour is just an analogy. It has nothing to do with light.) Red-black trees constrain the way that nodes may be coloured in such a way that the tree remains reasonably balanced. This property is important for insuring a good overall performance — red-black trees guarantee that the worst case performance for the most common dynamic set operations is O(log N).

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