The Iterator provided in method iterator() is not guaranteed to traverse the elements of the priority queue in any particular order. If you need ordered traversal, consider using Arrays.sort(pq.toArray()).
The items that are put in a priority queue are sorted by heap sort algorithm. Heap sort is to put items in a binary tree data structure.
The item with the highest priority is put at the root of the tree. The two children has lower priority than the root and so on.
So, when you poll an item, you remove the item in the root of the tree. One of its children move up to the root and so on.
Joined: Nov 01, 2011
For more information, you can take a look at the post named "Mystic with PriorityQueue" posted on February, 04, 2012.
Correct anything if the answer is wrong in the post thread.