Merge k sorted arrays

Given k sorted arrays of size n,merge them into an output array which is sorted.

Solution (Using Min Heap): This solution is similar to method 4 of this post.


i. Create a min heap of size k of first element of each array.
Repeat steps from 2 to 4 n*k times:
ii. Take the minimum element from the heap and put it into output array.
iii. Replace the minimum element from next element of the corresponding array.if there are no more element in the array then replace with INT_MAX i.e. infinite.
iv. Apply minHeapify.

using namespace std;
#define n 4
#define INT_MAX 100000
struct element
	int value;
	int index;    //index of the array
	int arrIndex; //index of the next element in the array
void swap(struct element *a, struct element *b)
	struct element temp = *a;
	*a = *b;
	*b = temp;

void minHeapify(struct element a[], int size, int i)
	int l = 2*i;
	int r = 2*i+1;
	int smallest = i;
	if(l<size && a[l].value<a[smallest].value)
		smallest = l;
	if(r<size && a[r].value<a[smallest].value)
		smallest = r;

void buildMinHeap(struct element a[], int size) {
	for(int i=size/2;i>=0;i--)
int *mergesortedArrays(int arr[][n], int k)
	int *ans = new int[n*k];
	struct element minHeap[k];
	for (int i = 0; i < k; i++)
		minHeap[i].value = arr[i][0];
		minHeap[i].index = i;
		minHeap[i].arrIndex = 1;
	for (int count = 0; count < n*k; count++)
		int index = minHeap[0].index;
		int c = minHeap[0].arrIndex;
			minHeap[0].value = arr[index]1;
	return ans;
void printArray(int arr[], int size)
	for (int i=0; i < size; i++)
		cout << arr[i] << " ";
int main()
	int a[][n] =  {{3, 5, 15, 30},
	{1, 8, 21, 56},
	{6, 25, 50, 108}};
	int k = sizeof(a)/sizeof(a[0]);

	int *ans = mergesortedArrays(a, k);

	cout << "Merged sorted array : " << endl;
	printArray(ans, n*k);

	return 0;
<strong>Time Complexity</strong>: O(nklogk)

One Thought on “Merge k sorted arrays

  1. Muneeb Aadil on February 16, 2015 at 4:36 pm said:

    I don't get the question. Someone care to explain, please?

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