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Arraylist data duplication problem,...................sorta!

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I have the following arraylist that may or may not contain duplicate data.

array1        
(0)   "A"                
(1)     3                  
(2)   "G"                  
(3)     2                                                    
(4)   "Z"
(5)     2
(6)   "A"
(7)     2


The letters and integers go together.  I want to produce an Arraylist that keeps the distinct letters and adds the integers together when the letters match.  It should produce the following arraylist:

array1        
(0)   "A"                
(1)     5                  
(2)   "G"                  
(3)     2                                                    
(4)   "Z"
(5)     2

As you can see array1(7) and array1(1) was added together because array1(0) and array1(6) matched.  I don't care if it alters the original arraylist or creates a new one.
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Question by:NevSoFly
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 39727613
Is it guaranteed that you will always have letter-number in the ArrayList slots (i.e. an even number of items)? Using ArrayList in this manner (and at all, really) is a very fragile design.
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Author Comment

by:NevSoFly
ID: 39727633
It is guaranteed that the arraylist will start off with a letter and that every other slot will be a letter.  The slots in-between the letters will always be integers and the arraylist will end with an integer.

If you have a better way of doing this I'm all ears.
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 39727743
Myself, I would create a class to hold the correlations:

Public Class ItemPair
    Public Property Letter As Char
    Public Property Number As Integer
End Class

Open in new window


Then, for type safety, I would use a generic List rather than an ArrayList:

Dim list1 As New List(Of ItemPair)()
Dim list2 As New List(Of ItemPair)()

Dim pair As New ItemPair

pair.Letter = "A"c
pair.Number = 3
list1.Add(pair)
...

pair.Letter = "A"c
pair.Number = 5
list2.Add(pair)
...

Open in new window


Now you don't have to a letter being paired up with another letter, or a number being paired up with another number. You can enforce rules within your class (via methods and properties) so that you always have a letter and a number. Plus, there is more information about the data that is being held by the object. If you had to take a guess, what would you think was in pair.Letter if you had never seen it before? Can you say the same thing about array1(0)?

Now, for your original question, would you be permitted to use LINQ?
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Author Comment

by:NevSoFly
ID: 39727937
I like your class based solution and I will likely end up using a class or structure.  This will require me to do a good bit of rewriting, so in the mean time just to get this working I am able to use LINQ.
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Accepted Solution

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käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 39727986
Ah, I misled you slightly. My LINQ question revolved around the class-based solution. Let me show you that first, and then I'll show you what you can do with the ArrayList.

For what I propose above, you could do this:

Dim query = From item1 In list1
            Group item1 By item1.Letter Into Group
            Select New ItemPair With {
                .Letter = Letter,
                .Number = Group.Sum(Function(p) p.Number)
            }

Dim newList As List(Of ItemPair) = query.ToList()

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Now, for your ArrayList it's a bit more involved:

Dim mapped As New Dictionary(Of String, Integer)

For i As Integer = 0 To list1.Count - 1 Step 2
    If Not mapped.ContainsKey(list1(i)) Then mapped.Add(list1(i), 0)

    mapped(list1(i)) += list1(i + 1)
Next

Dim newList As New ArrayList()

For Each key In mapped.Keys
    newList.Add(key)
    newList.Add(mapped(key))
Next

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:NevSoFly
ID: 39728079
list1 is my original arraylist of letters and integers?
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Author Closing Comment

by:NevSoFly
ID: 39728183
great solution, great suggestions
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