In Java and Kotlin development, efficiently managing collections often requires adapting one data structure to another. A common scenario is converting an **Integer Set** into an **Integer Priority Queue**. The **PriorityQueueAdapter** simplifies this process, enabling developers to leverage the unique features of both data structures—fast access and automatic ordering.

In this blog, we will delve into the **PriorityQueueAdapter**, exploring its purpose, structure, and implementation. We’ll demonstrate how to seamlessly adapt an **Integer Set** to an **Integer Priority Queue** with practical examples and insights. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how this adapter enhances your code’s flexibility and performance in Java and Kotlin applications.

**Adapting an Integer Set to an Integer Priority Queue**

Adapting an `Integer Set`

to work like a `Priority Queue`

might seem like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, but the Adapter pattern makes this transformation both possible and practical. In the original form, an `Integer Set`

doesn’t support the behavior of a `Priority Queue`

because it’s unordered, whereas a `Priority Queue`

is all about organizing elements based on priority. By implementing an Adapter, you can create a layer that acts as a bridge between these two incompatible structures. The Adapter can introduce methods that reorder the `Set`

elements, ensuring they are retrieved based on priority, just like a `Priority Queue`

. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of the `Set`

’s unique element constraint while also incorporating the functionality of a priority-based retrieval system. The key here is that the Adapter provides a seamless interface, allowing the underlying `Set`

to work in a completely different context, opening doors for more flexible and maintainable code.

I know some of you might still be a little confused. Before we dive into the adapter code, let’s quickly revisit the basics of priority queues and integer sets. After that, we’ll walk through how we design the adapter, followed by the code and explanations.

**What is a Priority Queue?**

A **Priority Queue** is a type of queue in which elements are dequeued based on their priority, rather than their insertion order. In a typical queue (like a regular line), the first element added is the first one removed, which is known as **FIFO (First In, First Out)**. However, in a priority queue, elements are removed based on their priority—typically the smallest (or sometimes largest) value is removed first.

**Example of Priority Queue Behavior:**Imagine a hospital emergency room. Patients aren’t necessarily treated in the order they arrive; instead, the most critical cases (highest priority) are treated first. Similarly, in a priority queue, elements with the highest (or lowest) priority are processed first.In a**min-priority queue**, the smallest element is dequeued first. In a**max-priority queue**, the largest element is dequeued first.

**What is an Integer Set?**

A **Set** is a collection of unique elements. In programming, an **Integer Set** is simply a set of integers. The key characteristic of a set is that it does not allow duplicate elements and typically has no specific order.

**Example of Integer Set Behavior:**If you add the integers`3, 7, 5, 3`

to a set, the set will only contain`3, 7, 5`

, as the duplicate`3`

will not be added again.

**How Does the Integer Set Adapt to Priority Queue Behavior?**

A **Set** by itself does not have any priority-based behavior. However, with the help of the **Adapter pattern**, we can make the set behave like a priority queue. The Adapter pattern is useful when you have two incompatible interfaces and want to use one in place of the other.

Here, the **Set** itself doesn’t manage priorities, but we build an **adapter** around the set that makes it behave like a **Priority Queue**. Specifically, we implement methods that will:

**Add elements**to the set (`add()`

method).**Remove the smallest element**(which gives it the behavior of a min-priority queue).**Check the size of the set**, mimicking the`size()`

behavior of a queue.

**PriorityQueueAdapter : Code **

Now, let’s see the code and its explanations

```
// Define a PriorityQueue interface
interface PriorityQueue {
fun add(element: Any)
fun size(): Int
fun removeSmallest(): Any?
}
// Implement the PriorityQueueAdapter that adapts a Set to work like a PriorityQueue
class PriorityQueueAdapter(private val set: MutableSet<Int>) : PriorityQueue {
// Add an element to the Set
override fun add(element: Any) {
if (element is Int) {
set.add(element)
}
}
// Get the size of the Set
override fun size(): Int {
return set.size
}
// Find and remove the smallest element from the Set
override fun removeSmallest(): Int? {
// If the set is empty, return null
if (set.isEmpty()) return null
// Find the smallest element using Kotlin's built-in functions
val smallest = set.minOrNull()
// Remove the smallest element from the set
if (smallest != null) {
set.remove(smallest)
}
// Return the smallest element
return smallest
}
}
```

**PriorityQueue Interface:**

- We define an interface
`PriorityQueue`

with three methods: `add(element: Any)`

: Adds an element to the queue.`size()`

: Returns the number of elements in the queue.`removeSmallest()`

: Removes and returns the smallest element from the queue.

**PriorityQueueAdapter Class:**

- This is the adapter that makes a
`MutableSet<Int>`

work as a`PriorityQueue`

. It adapts the`Set`

behavior to match the`PriorityQueue`

interface. - It holds a reference to a
`MutableSet`

of integers, which will store the elements.

**add() method:**

- Adds an integer to the
`Set`

. Since`Set`

ensures that all elements are unique, duplicate values will not be added.

**size() method:**

- Returns the current size of the
`Set`

, which is the number of elements stored.

**removeSmallest() method:**

- This method first checks if the set is empty; if so, it returns
`null`

. - If not, it uses the built-in Kotlin method
`minOrNull()`

to find the smallest element in the set. - Once the smallest element is found, it is removed from the set using
`remove()`

, and the smallest element is returned.

**Key Points**

**Adapter Pattern:**The class`PriorityQueueAdapter`

acts as an adapter, allowing the`Set`

to behave like a`PriorityQueue`

. The set keeps unique elements, but the adapter adds additional functionality to behave like a priority queue by tracking and removing the smallest element.**Flexibility:**This approach enables you to use a`Set`

in scenarios that require a`PriorityQueue`

without altering the original`Set`

structure. The adapter adds the priority-based behavior without modifying the`Set`

itself.

**PriorityQueueAdapter: How It Works**

Let’s walk through how the PriorityQueueAdapter works by using a simple example, followed by detailed explanations.

```
fun main() {
// Create a mutable set of integers
val integerSet = mutableSetOf(15, 3, 7, 20)
// Create an instance of PriorityQueueAdapter using the set
val priorityQueue: PriorityQueue = PriorityQueueAdapter(integerSet)
// Add elements to the PriorityQueue
priorityQueue.add(10)
priorityQueue.add(5)
// Print the size of the PriorityQueue
println("Size of the PriorityQueue: ${priorityQueue.size()}") // Expected: 6 (15, 3, 7, 20, 10, 5)
// Remove the smallest element
val smallest = priorityQueue.removeSmallest()
println("Smallest element removed: $smallest") // Expected: 3 (which is the smallest in the set)
// Check the size of the PriorityQueue after removing the smallest element
println("Size after removing smallest: ${priorityQueue.size()}") // Expected: 5 (remaining: 15, 7, 20, 10, 5)
// Remove the next smallest element
val nextSmallest = priorityQueue.removeSmallest()
println("Next smallest element removed: $nextSmallest") // Expected: 5
// Final state of the PriorityQueue
println("Remaining elements in the PriorityQueue: $integerSet") // Expected: [15, 7, 20, 10]
}
```

**Initialization:**

- We create a
`MutableSet`

of integers with values:`15`

,`3`

,`7`

, and`20`

. - The
`PriorityQueueAdapter`

is initialized with this set.

**Adding Elements:**

- We add two new integers,
`10`

and`5`

, using the`add()`

method of the`PriorityQueueAdapter`

. - After adding these, the set contains the following elements:
`[15, 3, 7, 20, 10, 5]`

.

**Size of the PriorityQueue:**

- We check the size of the queue using the
`size()`

method. Since we have six unique elements in the set, the size returned is`6`

.

**Removing the Smallest Element:**

- The
`removeSmallest()`

method is called. - The method scans the set and finds
`3`

to be the smallest element. - It removes
`3`

from the set and returns it. - After removal, the set becomes:
`[15, 7, 20, 10, 5]`

.

**Size After Removal:**

- The size is checked again, and it returns
`5`

, since one element (`3`

) was removed.

**Removing the Next Smallest Element:**

- The
`removeSmallest()`

method is called again. - This time, it finds
`5`

as the smallest element in the set. - It removes
`5`

and returns it. - After removal, the set is now:
`[15, 7, 20, 10]`

.

**Final State of the Queue:**

- The final remaining elements in the set are printed, showing the updated state of the set:
`[15, 7, 20, 10]`

.

So, the **add() method** in the `PriorityQueueAdapter`

is responsible for adding elements to the internal set. Since sets do not allow duplicate elements, only unique items are added; if an attempt is made to add an element that already exists in the set, it will not be added again. The **removeSmallest() method** scans the set to identify the smallest element, removes it, and returns its value. This method utilizes the built-in `minOrNull()`

function to efficiently find the smallest element during each iteration, ensuring that the set is modified appropriately. The adapter employs a `MutableSet`

as the underlying data structure, allowing it to function like a priority queue by focusing on adding elements and removing the smallest ones. Additionally, the design of the `PriorityQueueAdapter`

ensures that the set is effectively utilized as a priority queue without altering its inherent behavior.

**Conclusion**

The **PriorityQueueAdapter** offers a straightforward and effective way to convert an **Integer Set** into an **Integer Priority Queue**, enhancing your data management capabilities in Java and Kotlin. By utilizing this adapter, you can take advantage of the automatic ordering and efficient retrieval features of a priority queue, all while maintaining the unique characteristics of a set.

Whether you’re optimizing algorithms or simply looking for a better way to handle integer data, the **PriorityQueueAdapter** serves as a valuable tool in your development toolkit. Implementing this adapter will streamline your collection handling, allowing your applications to operate more efficiently and effectively. Embrace the power of the **PriorityQueueAdapter** in your projects and elevate your coding practices!