Advanced Data Structures

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Binary Indexed / Fenwick Tree

What is Fenwick Tree ?
  • Published by Fenwick in 1994.
  • Can efficiently update elements and calculate prefix sums in a table of numbers.
  • Achieves a much better balance between two operations: element update and prefix sum calculation.
  • Allows both operations to be performed in O(logn) .

Calculating Prefix Sum Problem***

We are given an array a[], and we want to be able to perform two types of operations on it.

  1. Change the value stored at an index i. (point update operation)
  2. Find the sum of a prefix of length k. (range sum query)
Approach-1: Simple
  • Go over the array and calculate the sum of all a[i] such that 0 <= i < k .
  • For update: assign value v to a[i].
  • Time Complexity: O(n) for query and O(1) for update.
Approach-2: Simple Enhanced
  • Maintain another array prefix_sum[] for storing sum till ith element at index i .
  • For update: assign value v to a[i] and update the prefix_sum[].
  • Time Complexity: O(1) for query and O(n) for update.
  • Auxilliary Space: O(1)
Approach-3: Use Segment Tree
  • Performs both the tasks in O(logn) time.
  • Auxilliary Space: O(N) but uses 4N extra space.
Approach-4: Use Fenwick Tree
  • Performs both the tasks in O(logn) time.
  • Uses lesser space than segment tree.
  • Require less space and are very easy to implement .


  • Fenwick Tree is represented as an array, let the array be BITree[].
  • Each node of the Binary Indexed Tree stores the sum of some elements of the input array.
  • The size of the Binary Indexed Tree is equal to the size of the input array, denoted as n.
  • In the code below, we use a size of n+1 for ease of implementation.

Updating the Value


Getting Sum



class FenwickTree:
    def __init__(self, arr):
        self.n = len(arr)
        self.fenwick_tree = [0]*(self.n+1)

        for i in range(self.n):
            self.update(i, arr[i])

    def update(self, i, val): 
        i += 1       # index in fenwick_tree[] is 1 more than the index in arr[]

        # Traverse all ancestors and add 'val' 
        while i <= self.n: 
            self.fenwick_tree[i] += val        # Add 'val' to current node of Fenwick Tree 
            i += i & (-i)         # Update index to that of parent in update View

    def query(self, i):
        total_sum = 0
        i += 1

        # Traverse ancestors of fenwick_tree[index] and the value to sum
        while i > 0:  
            total_sum += self.fenwick_tree[i]      # Add current element of fenwick_tree to sum 
            i -= i & (-i)          # Move index to parent node in getSum View

        return total_sum

print("Fenwick Tree Example:")
arr = [2, 1, 1, 3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
fen_tree = FenwickTree(arr)
print("Sum of elements in arr[0..5] is : {}".format(fen_tree.query(5)))
fen_tree.update(3, 6)
print("Sum of elements in arr[0..5] after update is : {}".format(fen_tree.query(5)))


  • Time: O(logn) for both query and update
  • Auxilliary Space: O(n)

2-D Binary Indexed / Fenwick Tree