I'm dissecting the code from the OpenAI implementation of a Segment Tree which is used in their implementation of a prioritized replay buffer

I am trying to understand if this is returning the proper value or if it is returning one node lower than requested. I assume I'm mistaken in my reading of the code

See the code for `SegmentTree`

below (which is a super class of `SumSegmentTree`

. Particularly, note the method `_reduce_helper`

:

```
import operator
class SegmentTree(object):
def __init__(self, capacity, operation, neutral_element):
"""Build a Segment Tree data structure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segment_tree
Can be used as regular array, but with two
important differences:
a) setting item's value is slightly slower.
It is O(lg capacity) instead of O(1).
b) user has access to an efficient ( O(log segment size) )
`reduce` operation which reduces `operation` over
a contiguous subsequence of items in the array.
Paramters
---------
capacity: int
Total size of the array - must be a power of two.
operation: lambda obj, obj -> obj
and operation for combining elements (eg. sum, max)
must form a mathematical group together with the set of
possible values for array elements (i.e. be associative)
neutral_element: obj
neutral element for the operation above. eg. float('-inf')
for max and 0 for sum.
"""
assert capacity > 0 and capacity & (capacity - 1) == 0, "capacity must be positive and a power of 2."
self._capacity = capacity
self._value = [neutral_element for _ in range(2 * capacity)]
self._operation = operation
def _reduce_helper(self, start, end, node, node_start, node_end):
if start == node_start and end == node_end:
return self._value[node]
mid = (node_start + node_end) // 2
if end <= mid:
return self._reduce_helper(start, end, 2 * node, node_start, mid)
else:
if mid + 1 <= start:
return self._reduce_helper(start, end, 2 * node + 1, mid + 1, node_end)
else:
return self._operation(
self._reduce_helper(start, mid, 2 * node, node_start, mid),
self._reduce_helper(mid + 1, end, 2 * node + 1, mid + 1, node_end)
)
def reduce(self, start=0, end=None):
"""Returns result of applying `self.operation`
to a contiguous subsequence of the array.
self.operation(arr[start], operation(arr[start+1], operation(... arr[end])))
Parameters
----------
start: int
beginning of the subsequence
end: int
end of the subsequences
Returns
-------
reduced: obj
result of reducing self.operation over the specified range of array elements.
"""
if end is None:
end = self._capacity
if end < 0:
end += self._capacity
end -= 1
return self._reduce_helper(start, end, 1, 0, self._capacity - 1)
def __setitem__(self, idx, val):
# index of the leaf
idx += self._capacity
self._value[idx] = val
idx //= 2
while idx >= 1:
self._value[idx] = self._operation(
self._value[2 * idx],
self._value[2 * idx + 1]
)
idx //= 2
def __getitem__(self, idx):
assert 0 <= idx < self._capacity
return self._value[self._capacity + idx]
```

Note that `reduce`

passes the default argument of 1 for the node. However, `_reduce_helper`

has the line:

```
if start == node_start and end == node_end:
return self._value[node]
```

Using an example that the array has a capacity of 2^3 = 8, indexed from 0-7, if we wanted to get the sum of the entire array, the `_reduce_helper`

function would return the value of node (index) 1 by default. Shouldn't this return the value at index 0?

It also appears to be using the convention that a node at index `i`

has children stored at indices `2*i`

and `(2*i) + 1`

but since python is zero indexed should each parent instead have children at indices `(2*i) + 1`

and (2*i) + 2`?

I must be reading this wrong but need input for clarity.