[R] count occurrence and distance of characters in string

Nordlund, Dan (DSHS/RDA) NordlDJ at dshs.wa.gov
Fri Nov 5 00:16:49 CET 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-
> project.org] On Behalf Of Immanuel
> Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 3:42 PM
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: [R] count occurrence and distance of characters in string
> Hello all,
> I want to know how often one character occurs in a given string
> and the distance from between every two occurences. (distance = other
> characters between them).
> thanks

Without a reproducible example, I can only guess.  But this should get you started.

s <- 'abcdeabcxdeabcdeaxabcdeabcdeabcdxeabc'
chr.pos <- which(unlist(strsplit(s,NULL)) == 'x')
chr.count <- length(chr.pos)
chr.dist <- diff(chr.pos)-1

Hope this is helpful,


Daniel J. Nordlund
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Planning, Performance, and Accountability
Research and Data Analysis Division
Olympia, WA 98504-5204

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