R Language *apply family of functions (functionals) Using user-defined functionals


Example

User-defined functionals

Users can create their own functionals to varying degrees of complexity. The following examples are from Functionals by Hadley Wickham:

randomise <- function(f) f(runif(1e3))
        
lapply2 <- function(x, f, ...) {
    out <- vector("list", length(x))
    for (i in seq_along(x)) {
        out[[i]] <- f(x[[i]], ...)
    }
    out
}

In the first case, randomise accepts a single argument f, and calls it on a sample of Uniform random variables. To demonstrate equivalence, we call set.seed below:

set.seed(123)
randomise(mean)
#[1] 0.4972778
    
set.seed(123)
mean(runif(1e3))
#[1] 0.4972778


set.seed(123)
randomise(max)
#[1] 0.9994045

set.seed(123)
max(runif(1e3))
#[1] 0.9994045

The second example is a re-implementation of base::lapply, which uses functionals to apply an operation (f) to each element in a list (x). The ... parameter allows the user to pass additional arguments to f, such as the na.rm option in the mean function:

lapply(list(c(1, 3, 5), c(2, NA, 6)), mean)
# [[1]]
# [1] 3
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] NA

lapply2(list(c(1, 3, 5), c(2, NA, 6)), mean)
# [[1]]
# [1] 3
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] NA


lapply(list(c(1, 3, 5), c(2, NA, 6)), mean, na.rm = TRUE)
# [[1]]
# [1] 3
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] 4

lapply2(list(c(1, 3, 5), c(2, NA, 6)), mean, na.rm = TRUE)
# [[1]]
# [1] 3
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] 4