AVL tree
Overview

In computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

, an AVL tree is a self-balancing binary search tree
Self-balancing binary search tree
In computer science, a self-balancing binary search tree is any node based binary search tree that automatically keeps its height small in the face of arbitrary item insertions and deletions....

, and it was the first such data structure
Data structure
In computer science, a data structure is a particular way of storing and organizing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently.Different kinds of data structures are suited to different kinds of applications, and some are highly specialized to specific tasks...

to be invented. In an AVL tree, the heights of the two child subtrees of any node differ by at most one. Lookup, insertion, and deletion all take O
Big O notation
In mathematics, big O notation is used to describe the limiting behavior of a function when the argument tends towards a particular value or infinity, usually in terms of simpler functions. It is a member of a larger family of notations that is called Landau notation, Bachmann-Landau notation, or...

(log n) time in both the average and worst cases, where n is the number of nodes in the tree prior to the operation. Insertions and deletions may require the tree to be rebalanced by one or more tree rotation
Tree rotation
A tree rotation is an operation on a binary tree that changes the structure without interfering with the order of the elements. A tree rotation moves one node up in the tree and one node down...

s.

The AVL tree is named after its two Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

inventors, G.M.