k-ary Huffman coding


Definition: A minimal variable-length coding based on the frequency of each character. Similar to a Huffman coding, but joins k trees into a k-ary tree at each step, and uses k symbols for each level.

Note: The coding at each stage has k symbols, not just 2 (0 or 1) like traditional Huffman. If k is a power of two, that is, k=2n, every symbol can be represented by n bits.

Author: PEB


animation which counts characters, finds the code, encodes, and decodes (Java),
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Entry modified 27 October 2005.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "k-ary Huffman coding", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 27 October 2005. (accessed TODAY) Available from: