Learn R – What are Vectors – Code Examples

This article represents high level concepts in relation with Vector data type in R programming language along with code samples. For those new to R language, it should be noted that R provides a console-based platform to perform analysis on data. R can be seen as a programming language for data scientist.
Please feel free to comment/suggest if I missed to mention one or more important points. Also, sorry for the typos.

Following are the key points described later in this article:

  • What are Vectors?
  • Vectors – Code Examples


What are Vectors?
Vector, in R, can be defined as a collection of things of same data type. Simply speaking, it can be looked upon as a list of things of same data type. For example, a collection of numbers, say, odd numbers such as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or character sets such as “apple”, “google”, “microsoft”. Vectors can be of following different types:

  • Integer
  • Numeric
  • Character
In R, “c” is used to represent the collection. “c” at times is considered as short form of “concatenate” or “combination” or “collection”.
For example, c(1,3,5,7,9) or c(“apple”, “google”, “microsoft”). Following is how it is represented in R.

oddnos = c( 1,3,5,7,9)
companies = c( "apple", "google", "microsoft")


Vectors – Code Examples

Consider an example of doctors with following details:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Salary

Following code example displays command to store each of the above data and how to access them. Pay attention to the fact that vector of one type store data of same type. Following code example demonstrate vector of types such as following:

  • Character
  • Integer
  • Numeric
# Character Vector representing collection of doctors' names
docNames <- c( "chris", "calvin", "scott" );
# Numeric Vector representing collection of doctors' salary
docSalary <- c( 67345.50, 89765, 123432 );
# Integer Vector representing collection of doctors' age
docAge <- c( 25, 29, 27 );

# Access doctors' names
docNames # Displays [1] chris, calvin, scott
docNames [1] # Displays [1] chris

# Vector storing docNames and docAge
docSummary <- c( docNames, docAge );

# Display details as String; Pay attention that all data is converted as character vector
docSummary # Displays [1] "chris", "calvin", "scott", "25", "29", "27"


Abhimanyu Shukla

Associate Architect at Alliance Global Services
Abhimanyu has been working extensively on different microsoft technologies for past 7-8 years.

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