ctapply {iotools}R Documentation

Fast tapply() replacement functions


ctapply is a fast replacement of tapply that assumes contiguous input, i.e. unique values in the index are never speparated by any other values. This avoids an expensive split step since both value and the index chungs can be created on the fly. It also cuts a few corners to allow very efficient copying of values. This makes it many orders of magnitude faster than the classical lapply(split(), ...) implementation.


ctapply(X, INDEX, FUN, ..., MERGE=c)



an atomic object, typically a vector


numeric or character vector of the same length as X


the function to be applied


additional arguments to FUN. They are passed as-is, i.e., without replication or recycling


function to merge the resulting vector or NULL if the arguments to such a functiona re to be returned instead


Note that ctapply supports either integer, real or character vectors as indices (note that factors are integer vectors and thus supported, but you do not need to convert character vectors). Unlike tapply it does not take a list of factors - if you want to use a cross-product of factors, create the product first, e.g. using paste(i1, i2, i3, sep='\01') or multiplication - whetever method is convenient for the input types.

ctapply requires the INDEX to contiguous. One (slow) way to achieve that is to use sort or order.

ctapply also supports X to be a matrix in which case it is split row-wise based on INDEX. The number of rows must match the length of INDEX. Note that the indexed matrices behave as if drop=FALSE was used and curretnly dimnames are only honored if rownames are present.


This function has been moved to the fastmatch package!


Simon Urbanek

See Also



i = rnorm(4e6)
names(i) = as.integer(rnorm(1e6))
i = i[order(names(i))]
system.time(tapply(i, names(i), sum))
system.time(ctapply(i, names(i), sum))

## ctapply() also works on matrices (unlike tapply)
ctapply(m, m[,1], identity, MERGE=list)
ctapply(m, m[,1], identity, MERGE=rbind)
colnames(m2) = c("V1","V2")
ctapply(m2, rownames(m2), identity, MERGE=list)
ctapply(m2, rownames(m2), identity, MERGE=rbind)

[Package iotools version 0.2-4 Index]