Fenwick Tree

Let, $f$ be some reversible function and $A$ be an array of integers of length $N$.

Fenwick tree is a data structure which:

Fenwick tree is also called Binary Indexed Tree.

The most common application of Fenwick tree is calculating the sum of a range (i.e. $f(A_1, A_2, \dots, A_k) = A_1 + A_2 + \dots + A_k$).

Fenwick tree was first described in a paper titled "A new data structure for cumulative frequency tables" (Peter M. Fenwick, 1994).


For the sake of simplicity, we will assume that function $f$ is just a sum function.

Given an array of integers $A[0 \dots N-1]$. Fenwick tree is an array $T[0 \dots N-1]$, where each of its elements is equal to the sum of elements of $A$ in some range $[g(i); i]$:

$$T_i = \sum_{j = g(i)}^{i}{A_j}$$

where $g$ is some function that satisfies $(g(i) \le i)$ and we will define it a bit later.

Note: Fenwick tree presented here does support 0-based indexing (in case you were told that it does not support it).

Now we can write pseudo-code for the two operations mentioned above — get the sum of elements of $A$ in range $[0; r]$ and update some element $A_i$:

def sum (int r):
    res = 0
    while (r >= 0):
        res += t[r]
        r = g(r) - 1
    return res

def inc (int i, int delta):
    for all j, where g(j) <= i <= j
        t[j] += delta

The function sum works as follows:

  1. first, it adds the sum of the range $[g(r); r]$ (i.e. $T[r]$) to the result
  2. then, it "jumps" to the range $[g(g(r)-1); g(r)-1]$, and adds this range's sum to the result
  3. and so on, until it "jumps" from $[0; g(g( \dots g(r)-1 \dots -1)-1)]$ to $[g(-1); -1]$; that is where the sum function stops jumping.

The function inc works with the same analogy, but "jumps" in the direction of increasing indices:

  1. sums of the ranges $[g(j); j]$ that satisfy the condition $g(j) \le i \le j$ are increased by delta , that is t[j] += delta .

It is obvious that complexity of both sum and upd do depend on the function $g$. We will define the function $g$ in such a way that both of the operations have a logarithmic complexity $O(lg N)$.

Definition of $g(i)$. Let us consider the least significant digit of $i$ in binary. If this digit is $0$, then let $g(i) = i$. Otherwise, the binary representation of $i$ will end with at least one $1$ bit. We will flip all these tailing $1$'s (so they become $0$'s) and define the result as a value of $g(i)$.

There exists a trivial solution for the non-trivial operation described above:

g(i) = i & (i+1)

where & is a logical AND operator. It is not hard to convince yourself that this solution does the same thing as the operation described above.

Now, we need to find a way to find all $j$'s, such that g(j) <= i <= j.

It is easy to see that we can find all such $j$'s by starting with $i$ and flipping the least significant zero bit. For example, for $i = 10$ we have:

j = 10, binary 0001010
j = 11, binary 0001011
j = 15, binary 0001111
j = 31, binary 0011111
j = 63, binary 0111111

Unsurprisingly, there also exists a simple way to do the above operation:

h(j) = j | (j+1)

where | is a logical OR operator.

Implementation: finding sum in one-dimensional array

struct FenwickTree {
    vector<int> bit; // binary indexed tree
    int n;

    void init(int n) {
        this->n = n;
        bit.assign(n, 0);
    int sum(int r) {
        int ret = 0;
        for (; r >= 0; r = (r & (r+1)) - 1)
            ret += bit[r];
        return ret;
    void add(int idx, int delta) {
        for (; idx < n; idx = idx | (idx+1))
            bit[idx] += delta;
    int sum(int l, int r) {
        return sum(r) - sum(l-1);
    void init(vector<int> a) {
        for (size_t i = 0; i < a.size(); i++)
            add(i, a[i]);

Implementation: finding minimum of $[0; r]$ in one-dimensional array

It is obvious that there is no way of finding minimum of range $[l; r]$ using Fenwick tree, as Fenwick tree can only answer queries of type [0; r]. Additionally, each time a value is update'd, new value should be smaller than the current value (because, the $min$ function is not reversible). These, of course, are significant limitations.

struct FenwickTreeMin {
    vector<int> bit;
    int n;
    const int INF = (int)1e9;
    void init (int n) {
        this->n = n;
        bit.assign (n, INF);
    int getmin (int r) {
        int ret = INF;
        for (; r >= 0; r = (r & (r+1)) - 1)
            ret = min(ret, bit[r]);
        return ret;
    void update (int idx, int val) {
        for (; idx < n; idx = idx | (idx+1))
            bit[idx] = min(bit[idx], val);
    void init (vector<int> a) {
        init (a.size());
        for (size_t i = 0; i < a.size(); i++)
            update(i, a[i]);

Implementation: finding sum in two-dimensional array

As claimed before, it is easy to implement Fenwick Tree for multidimensional array.

struct FenwickTree2D {
    vector <vector <int> > bit;
    int n, m;
    // init(...) { ... }
    int sum (int x, int y) {
        int ret = 0;
        for (int i = x; i >= 0; i = (i & (i+1)) - 1)
            for (int j = y; j >= 0; j = (j & (j+1)) - 1)
                ret += bit[i][j];
        return ret;
    void add(int x, int y, int delta) {
        for (int i = x; i < n; i = i | (i+1))
            for (int j = y; j < m; j = j | (j+1))
                bit[i][j] += delta;

Practice Problems

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