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  Combine two ArrayList(s), omit duplicates  (Read 12252 times)
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Offline Sanxion

Junior Devvie

Java games rock!

« Posted 2003-01-15 06:19:42 »

Is using a HashSet the  fastest way to combine two ArrayList(s) and omit duplicates?

ArrayList a1, a2; // fill them with junk

HashSet hash = new HashSet(a1);
Offline ryanm

Senior Devvie

Projects: 1
Exp: 15 years

Used to be bleb

« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-01-15 08:12:19 »

You could just do

ArrayList a1, a2; // fill with junk

a1.removeAll( a2 ); // removes duplicates
a1.addAll( a2 ); // combines lists

You might also want to use LinkedLists instead of ArrayLists in order to avoid costly removing-from-an-array operations, and the annoying array-growing operation.  Anyhoo, as long as your chosen collection implements the java.util.Collection interface, you can do the above.
Offline abies

Senior Devvie

« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-01-15 18:42:13 »

Exact testing needs to be done, but I do think that HashSet version should be an order of magnitude faster.

In theory HashSet insert is O(1) and ArrayList remove of _single_ element is O(n). So here we have O(n) versus O(n^2) complexity, a BIG difference.

Of course, for small n, other costs will be important. But I do not expect that remove version will be faster for anything over 5-6 elements.

Artur Biesiadowski
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Offline opinali

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-02-01 08:07:24 »

If both ArrayLists are sorted, the fastest way is coding a loop that iterates both arrays in parallel and for each iteration, copies the lower-ordering element to a new array.
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