[R] crazy loop error.
Ivan Calandra
ivan.calandra at uni-hamburg.de
Tue Jan 25 11:22:04 CET 2011
Mr Ripley,
May I ask why seq_len() and seq_along() are better than seq()?
Thanks,
Ivan
Le 1/25/2011 09:58, Prof Brian Ripley a écrit :
> On Tue, 25 Jan 2011, Petr Savicky wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:18:35PM +0100, Roy Mathew wrote:
>>> Thanks for the reply Erik, As you mentioned, grouping consecutive
>>> elements
>>> of 'a' was my idea.
>>> I am unaware of any R'ish way to do it. It would be nice if someone
>>> in the
>>> community knows this.
>>>
>>> The error resulting in the NA was pretty easy to fix, and my loop
>>> works, but
>>> the results are still wrong (new script below).
>>> Ideally it should print single "hello" for the single letters and
>>> grouped '3
>>> hellos' for the fives, grouped '2 hellos' for the sixes etc.
>>>
>>> Based on the run results, if the value of n is being tracked, it
>>> changes
>>> quite unpredictably.
>>> Can someone explain how the value of n changes from end of the loop
>>> to the
>>> top without anything being done to it?
>>
>> Hi.
>>
>> A for-loop in R is different from a for-loop in C. It is similar
>> to foreach loop in Perl. If v is a vector, then
>>
>> for (n in v)
>>
>> first creates the vector v and then always performs length(v)
>> iterations.
>> Before iteration i, n is assigned v[i] even if n is changed in the
>> previous iteration.
>
> And also if v is changed during the loop.
>
>> If you want to control the loop variable during execution, it is
>> possible
>> to use a while loop, where you have full control. While loop may be
>> better
>> also if v has a very large length, since, for example
>>
>> for (n in 1:1000000)
>>
>> creates a vector of length 1000000 in memory.
>>
>> It should also be noted that the for-loop
>>
>> for (n in 1:k)
>>
>> performs 2 iterations, if k is 0, since 1:0 is a vector of length 2.
>> If k may be 0, then it is better to use
>>
>> for (n in seq(length=k))
>>
>> since seq(length=0) has length 0.
>
> Since you keep mentioning that, it is actually much better to use
> seq_len(k) (and seq_along(x) instead of your earlier recommendation of
> seq(along=x)). And if you are using seq() in other cases in programs,
> consider seq.int() instead.
>
>> Hope this helps.
>>
>> Petr Savicky.
>
--
Ivan CALANDRA
PhD Student
University of Hamburg
Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum
Abt. Säugetiere
Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3
D-20146 Hamburg, GERMANY
+49(0)40 42838 6231
ivan.calandra at uni-hamburg.de
**********
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