A heap is a partially sorted binary tree. Although a heap is not completely in order, it conforms to a sorting principle: every node has a value less (for the sake of simplicity, we will assume that all orderings are from least to greatest) than either of its children. Additionally, a heap is a “complete tree” — a complete tree is one in which there are no gaps between leaves. For instance, a tree with a root node that has only one child must have its child as the left node. More precisely, a complete tree is one that has every level filled in before adding a node to the next level, and one that has the nodes in a given level filled in from left to right, with no breaks.

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