Re: [R] how to test for the empty set

From: G. Jay Kerns <gkerns_at_ysu.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 22:30:24 -0500

Dear Steven,

> length(x)

> Does this cover all your use
> cases?

Yes, and thanks again to everybody else who later replied. I had falsely imagined something so much more complicated...!? Next time, I will wait 8*runif(1) before posting. :-)

Best,
Jay

> HTH
>
> Steven McKinney
>
> Statistician
> Molecular Oncology and Breast Cancer Program
> British Columbia Cancer Research Centre
>
> email: smckinney +at+ bccrc +dot+ ca
>
> tel: 604-675-8000 x7561
>
> BCCRC
> Molecular Oncology
> 675 West 10th Ave, Floor 4
> Vancouver B.C.
> V5Z 1L3
> Canada
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces_at_r-project.org on behalf of G. Jay Kerns
> Sent: Mon 11/24/2008 9:41 AM
> To: r-help_at_r-project.org
> Subject: [R] how to test for the empty set
>
> Dear R-help,
>
> I first thought that the empty set (for a vector) would be NULL.
>
> x <- c()
> x
>
> However, the documentation seems to make clear that there _many_ empty
> sets depending on the vector's mode, namely, numeric(0), character(0),
> logical(0), etc. This is borne out by
>
> y <- letters[1:3]
> z <- letters[4:6]
> intersect(y,z)
>
> which, of course, is non-NULL:
>
> is.null(character(0)) # FALSE
>
> So, how can we test if a vector is, say, character(0)? The following
> doesn't (seem to) work:
>
> x <- character(0)
> x == character(0) # logical(0)
>
> More snooping led to the following:
>
> wiki.r-project.org/rwiki/doku.php?id=tips:surprises:emptysetfuncs
>
> and at the bottom of the page it says "logical(0) is an empty set,
> thus is TRUE". However, I get
>
> isTRUE(logical(0)) # FALSE
>
> but, on the other hand,
>
> all.equal(x, character(0)) # TRUE
>
> This would seem to be the solution, but am I missing something? and in
> particular, is there an elegant way to check in the case that the mode
> of the vector is not already known?
>
> Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.
>
> Best,
> Jay
>
>
>
>
> ***************************************************
> G. Jay Kerns, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor
> Department of Mathematics & Statistics
> Youngstown State University
> Youngstown, OH 44555-0002 USA
> Office: 1035 Cushwa Hall
> Phone: (330) 941-3310 Office (voice mail)
> -3302 Department
> -3170 FAX
> E-mail: gkerns_at_ysu.edu
> http://www.cc.ysu.edu/~gjkerns/
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help_at_r-project.org mailing list
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
>

-- 

***************************************************
G. Jay Kerns, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH 44555-0002 USA
Office: 1035 Cushwa Hall
Phone: (330) 941-3310 Office (voice mail)
-3302 Department
-3170 FAX
E-mail: gkerns_at_ysu.edu
http://www.cc.ysu.edu/~gjkerns/

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Received on Tue 25 Nov 2008 - 03:33:41 GMT

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