I try to implement a PriorityQueue with C#:

public class PriorityQueue<T> : Heap<T> where T : IComparable<T> {

The Heap is abstract. I have MinHeap and MaxHeap that are derived from Heap.

public abstract class Heap<T> where T : IComp ...
public class MinHeap<T> : Heap<T> ...
public class MaxHeap<T> : Heap<T> ...

Is there a possibility to decide in the constructor of PriorityQueue during runtime, if the PrioQueue becomes a MinHeap or MaxHeap? Like:

public PriorityQueue(bool type) {
    if (type = smallestFirst) { this = MinHeap ... }
    else { this = MaxHeap ... }

If I try like this, then he says that "this" is writeprotected. Any other ideas?

  • Your example at the very end won't compile. You use one equals sign in the if statement – Cole Johnson Oct 19 '14 at 20:44
  • yes that is a standard mistake from me :D - but that mistakes I can find fast. I made it like Euphoric said. I just hoped I could do it a level higher, because actually the heap itself can be considered as a PriorityQueue. I was a bit surprised, that c# hasnt got so many useful generic datastructures. – Sneedlewoods Oct 19 '14 at 21:09

No, it is not possible.

You should be using composition instead of inheritance here. Have Heap<T> as field and assign specific instance into this field.

public class PriorityQueue<T> where T : IComparable<T> {
    Heap<T> _heap;

    public PriorityQueue(bool type) {
        if (type == smallestFirst) { _heap = new MinHeap<T>(); }
        else { _heap = new MaxHeap<T>(); }

An alternative to Euphoric's suggestion is to use a Factory Method rather than calling new PriorityQueue directly, which is to say have a static method in PriorityQueue that decides which subtype to create and then returns an instance of the appropriate type.

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