Can anyone show how to implement SortByValue in Tree Map for Java ?

0 votes

I want to sort a TreeMap by value instead of the default natural ordering using a comparator.

This is the code I have written but it is not working:

import java.util.*;

class treeMap {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("the main");
        byValue cmp = new byValue();
        Map<String, Integer> map = new TreeMap<String, Integer>(cmp);
        map.put("ab", 20);

        for (Map.Entry<String,Integer> pair: map.entrySet()) {

class byValue implements Comparator<Map.Entry<String,Integer>> {
    public int compare(Map.Entry<String,Integer> e1, Map.Entry<String,Integer> e2) {
        if (e1.getValue() < e2.getValue()){
            return 1;
        } else if (e1.getValue() == e2.getValue()) {
            return 0;
        } else {
            return -1;

Please tell me how can I get a Map.Entry passed to the comparator?

Dec 10, 2018 in Java by Rishabh
• 3,580 points

edited Dec 10, 2018 by Rishabh 133 views

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

You can't have the TreeMap itself sort on the values, since that defies the SortedMap specification:

A Map that further provides a total ordering on its keys.

However, using an external collection, you can always sort Map.entrySet() however you wish, either by keys, values, or even a combination(!!) of the two.

Given below is a generic method that returns a SortedSet of Map.Entry, given a Map whose values are Comparable:

static <K,V extends Comparable<? super V>>
SortedSet<Map.Entry<K,V>> entriesSortedByValues(Map<K,V> map) {
    SortedSet<Map.Entry<K,V>> sortedEntries = new TreeSet<Map.Entry<K,V>>(
        new Comparator<Map.Entry<K,V>>() {
            @Override public int compare(Map.Entry<K,V> e1, Map.Entry<K,V> e2) {
                int res = e1.getValue().compareTo(e2.getValue());
                return res != 0 ? res : 1;
    return sortedEntries;

The next step is to do the following:

    Map<String,Integer> map = new TreeMap<String,Integer>();
    map.put("A", 3);
    map.put("B", 2);
    map.put("C", 1);   

    // prints "{A=3, B=2, C=1}"
    // prints "[C=1, B=2, A=3]"

Note that funky stuff will happen if you try to modify either the SortedSet itself, or the Map.Entrywithin, because this is no longer a "view" of the original map like entrySet() is.

Note on == for Integer

Your original comparator compares Integer using ==. This is almost always wrong, since == with Integer operands is a reference equality, not value equality.

    System.out.println(new Integer(0) == new Integer(0)); // prints "false"!!!
answered Dec 10, 2018 by Sushmita
• 6,890 points

edited Dec 10, 2018 by Sushmita

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