A SODA paper by Mordecai GOLIN, Xiaoming XU, and Jiajin YU
Abstract: Given a probability distribution over a set of n words to be transmitted, the Huffman Coding problem is to find a minimal-cost prefix free code for transmitting those words. The basic Huffman coding problem can be solved in O(n log n) time but variations are more difficult. One of the standard techniques for solving these variations utilizes a top-down dynamic programming approach. In this paper we show that this approach is amenable to dynamic programming speedup techniques, permitting a speedup of an order of magnitude for many algorithms in the literature for such variations as mixed radix, reserved length and one-ended coding. These speedups are immediate implications of a general structural property that permits batching together the calculation of many DP entries.