Vector Examples
This page was last reviewed on Dec 15, 2023.
Dot Net Perls
Vector. In Scala 3.3 a vector is an immutable collection. But it can be added to, and updated, fast. It is represented with a tree of nodes.
Shows a vector
Unlike an array, a vector's elements cannot be reassigned. But with update() we can change elements in a vector, copying only the nodes needed.
First example. Let us gain familiarity with Scala vector syntax. We use a ":+" operator to add a value to the end of a vector. We start with Vector.empty.
Start We can add one or more elements in a single statement with the append operator. A separate operator is used for "prepend."
Here We use println to display the contents of a vector. A for-loop can be used to access and print all individual elements.
Shows a vector
object Program { def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = { // Begin with an empty vector. val vector = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty println(vector) // Add new value at end of vector. val vector2 = vector :+ 5 println(vector2) // Add 2 new values at end of vector. val vector3 = vector2 :+ 10 :+ 20 println(vector3) // Add new value at start of vector. val vector4 = 100 +: vector3 println(vector4) } }
Vector() Vector(5) Vector(5, 10, 20) Vector(100, 5, 10, 20)
Add List. Sometimes we want to add an entire List to a Vector. We want to place all the elements from the List into a vector in one operation. The "++" operator helps here.
object Program { def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = { val v = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty println(v) // Add elements from List of Ints to end of vector. val v2 = v ++ List(10, 20, 30) println(v2) } }
Vector() Vector(10, 20, 30)
Update. Here we update a string vector. We add 3 strings (cat, bird and frog) to the end of an empty vector. And then we update the element at index 1 to equal "fish."
Info These vectors are immutable values, so we use the val keyword. When we call update, only some parts of v2 are updated and copied.
var, val
object Program { def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = { val v = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty println(v) // Add 3 strings to an empty vector. val v2 = v :+ "cat" :+ "bird" :+ "frog" println(v2) // Update element at index 1. val changed = v2.updated(1, "fish") println(changed) } }
Vector() Vector(cat, bird, frog) Vector(cat, fish, frog)
For-loop. Looping over a collection is essential. Here we use a for-loop to enumerate the elements in a vector. We encounter all 3 Int values and print them.
object Program { def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = { // Create an Int vector. // ... Append 3 elements. val v = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty :+ 5 :+ 10 :+ 50 println(v) // Loop over the vector's elements. for (e <- v) { println(e) } } }
Vector(5, 10, 50) 5 10 50
Vector benchmark. The performance of a Vector is complicated to measure. In recent versions of Scala (as of 2023), the Vector is competitive to the List.
Version 1 This version of the code appends 2 elements to a vector, and then prepends 1 element to the start.
Version 2 This code appends twice and then prepends once to a List instead of a vector.
Result The vector has slightly better performance than the List in this benchmark.
object Program { def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = { // Warm up the JIT. val testVector = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty :+5 :+ 10 val testVector2 = 100 +: testVector val testList = List(5, 10) val testList2 = 100 :: testList val t1 = System.currentTimeMillis() // Version 1: add three elements to a vector. for (i <- 0 to 1000000) { val vector = scala.collection.immutable.Vector.empty :+5 :+ 10 val vector2 = 100 +: vector if (vector2.length != 3) { println(vector2.length) } } val t2 = System.currentTimeMillis() // Version 2: add three elements to a list. for (i <- 0 to 1000000) { val list = List(5, 10) val list2 = 100 :: list if (list2.length != 3) { println(list2.length) } } val t3 = System.currentTimeMillis() // Results. println(t2 - t1) println(t3 - t2) } }
28 ms, Vector 37 ms, List
Vectors are complex. They are an advanced collection, and in some sense they are an efficient, immutable array. For large collections of Ints or similar values, they are a good choice.
Summary. Scala includes collections. These introduce a considerable amount of flexibility. A vector fills a requirement for an immutable, easily-updated array with fast element access.
Dot Net Perls is a collection of tested code examples. Pages are continually updated to stay current, with code correctness a top priority.
Sam Allen is passionate about computer languages. In the past, his work has been recommended by Apple and Microsoft and he has studied computers at a selective university in the United States.
This page was last updated on Dec 15, 2023 (edit).
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