Standard library: Containers

In previous chapters, we've used arrays as the standard way to group multiple objects of a specific data type. In many cases, arrays are good enough for manipulating those objects. However, there are situations that require more flexibility and more advanced operations. For those cases, Ada provides support for containers — such as vectors and sets — in its standard library.

We present an introduction to containers here. For a list of all containers available in Ada, see Appendix B.

Vectors

In the following sections, we present a general overview of vectors, including instantiation, initialization, and operations on vector elements and vectors.

Instantiation

Here's an example showing the instantiation and declaration of a vector V:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; procedure Show_Vector_Inst is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); V : Integer_Vectors.Vector; begin null; end Show_Vector_Inst;

Containers are based on generic packages, so we can't simply declare a vector as we would declare an array of a specific type:

A : array (1 .. 10) of Integer;

Instead, we first need to instantiate one of those packages. We with the container package (Ada.Containers.Vectors in this case) and instantiate it to create an instance of the generic package for the desired type. Only then can we declare the vector using the type from the instantiated package. This instantiation needs to be done for any container type from the standard library.

In the instantiation of Integer_Vectors, we indicate that the vector contains elements of Integer type by specifying it as the Element_Type. By setting Index_Type to Natural, we specify that the allowed range includes all natural numbers. We could have used a more restrictive range if desired.

Initialization

One way to initialize a vector is from a concatenation of elements. We use the & operator, as shown in the following example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Init is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin Put_Line ("Vector has " & Count_Type'Image (V.Length) & " elements"); end Show_Vector_Init;

We specify use Integer_Vectors, so we have direct access to the types and operations from the instantiated package. Also, the example introduces another operation on the vector: Length, which retrieves the number of elements in the vector. We can use the dot notation because Vector is a tagged type, allowing us to write either V.Length or Length (V).

Appending and prepending elements

You add elements to a vector using the Prepend and Append operations. As the names suggest, these operations add elements to the beginning or end of a vector, respectively. For example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Append is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector; begin Put_Line ("Appending some elements to the vector..."); V.Append (20); V.Append (10); V.Append (0); V.Append (13); Put_Line ("Finished appending."); Put_Line ("Prepending some elements to the vector..."); V.Prepend (30); V.Prepend (40); V.Prepend (100); Put_Line ("Finished prepending."); Put_Line ("Vector has " & Count_Type'Image (V.Length) & " elements"); end Show_Vector_Append;

This example puts elements into the vector in the following sequence: (100, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0, 13).

The Reference Manual specifies that the worst-case complexity must be:

  • O(\(log N\)) for the Append operation, and

  • O(\(N log N\)) for the Prepend operation.

Accessing first and last elements

We access the first and last elements of a vector using the First_Element and Last_Element functions. For example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_First_Last_Element is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; function Img (I : Integer) return String renames Integer'Image; function Img (I : Count_Type) return String renames Count_Type'Image; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin Put_Line ("Vector has " & Img (V.Length) & " elements"); -- Using V.First_Element to retrieve first element Put_Line ("First element is " & Img (V.First_Element)); -- Using V.Last_Element to retrieve last element Put_Line ("Last element is " & Img (V.Last_Element)); end Show_Vector_First_Last_Element;

You can swap elements by calling the procedure Swap and retrieving a reference (a cursor) to the first and last elements of the vector by calling First and Last. A cursor allows us to iterate over a container and process individual elements from it.

With these operations, we're able to write code to swap the first and last elements of a vector:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_First_Last_Element is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; function Img (I : Integer) return String renames Integer'Image; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin -- We use V.First and V.Last to retrieve cursor for first and -- last elements. -- We use V.Swap to swap elements. V.Swap (V.First, V.Last); Put_Line ("First element is now " & Img (V.First_Element)); Put_Line ("Last element is now " & Img (V.Last_Element)); end Show_Vector_First_Last_Element;

Iterating

The easiest way to iterate over a container is to use a for E of Our_Container loop. This gives us a reference (E) to the element at the current position. We can then use E directly. For example:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Iteration is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; function Img (I : Integer) return String renames Integer'Image; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); -- -- Using for ... of loop to iterate: -- for E of V loop Put_Line ("- " & Img (E)); end loop; end Show_Vector_Iteration;

This code displays each element from the vector V.

Because we're given a reference, we can display not only the value of an element but also modify it. For example, we could easily write a loop to add one to each element of vector V:

for E of V loop
   E := E + 1;
end loop;

We can also use indices to access vector elements. The format is similar to a loop over array elements: we use a for I in <range> loop. The range is provided by V.First_Index and V.Last_Index. We can access the current element by using it as an array index: V (I). For example:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Index_Iteration is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); -- -- Using indices in a "for I in ..." loop to iterate: -- for I in V.First_Index .. V.Last_Index loop -- Displaying current index I Put ("- [" & Extended_Index'Image (I) & "] "); Put (Integer'Image (V (I))); -- We could also use the V.Element (I) function to retrieve the -- element at the current index I New_Line; end loop; end Show_Vector_Index_Iteration;

Here, in addition to displaying the vector elements, we're also displaying each index, I, just like what we can do for array indices. Also, we can access the element by using either the short form V (I) or the longer form V.Element (I) but not V.I.

As mentioned in the previous section, you can use cursors to iterate over containers. For this, use the function Iterate, which retrieves a cursor for each position in the vector. The corresponding loop has the format for C in V.Iterate loop. Like the previous example using indices, you can again access the current element by using the cursor as an array index: V (C). For example:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Cursor_Iteration is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; begin Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); -- -- Use a cursor to iterate in a loop: -- for C in V.Iterate loop -- Using To_Index function to retrieve index -- for the cursor position Put ("- [" & Extended_Index'Image (To_Index (C)) & "] "); Put (Integer'Image (V (C))); -- We could use Element (C) to retrieve the vector -- element for the cursor position New_Line; end loop; -- Alternatively, we could iterate with a while-loop: -- -- declare -- C : Cursor := V.First; -- begin -- while C /= No_Element loop -- some processing here... -- -- C := Next (C); -- end loop; -- end; end Show_Vector_Cursor_Iteration;

Instead of accessing an element in the loop using V (C), we could also have used the longer form Element (C). In this example, we're using the function To_Index to retrieve the index corresponding to the current cursor.

As shown in the comments after the loop, we could also use a while ... loop to iterate over the vector. In this case, we would start with a cursor for the first element (retrieved by calling V.First) and then call Next (C) to retrieve a cursor for subsequent elements. Next (C) returns No_Element when the cursor reaches the end of the vector.

You can directly modify the elements using a reference. This is what it looks like when using both indices and cursors:

--  Modify vector elements using index
for I in V.First_Index .. V.Last_Index loop
   V (I) := V (I) + 1;
end loop;

--  Modify vector elements using cursor
for C in V.Iterate loop
   V (C) := V (C) + 1;
end loop;

The Reference Manual requires that the worst-case complexity for accessing an element be O(\(log N\)).

Another way of modifing elements of a vector is using a process procedure, which takes an individual element and does some processing on it. You can call Update_Element and pass both a cursor and an access to the process procedure. For example:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Update is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; procedure Add_One (I : in out Integer) is begin I := I + 1; end Add_One; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 12; begin -- -- Use V.Update_Element to process elements -- for C in V.Iterate loop V.Update_Element (C, Add_One'Access); end loop; end Show_Vector_Update;

Finding and changing elements

You can locate a specific element in a vector by retrieving its index. Find_Index retrieves the index of the first element matching the value you're looking for. Alternatively, you can use Find to retrieve a cursor referencing that element. For example:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Find_Vector_Element is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13; Idx : Extended_Index; C : Cursor; begin -- Using Find_Index to retrieve index of element with value 10 Idx := V.Find_Index (10); Put_Line ("Index of element with value 10 is " & Extended_Index'Image (Idx)); -- Using Find to retrieve cursor for element with value 13 C := V.Find (13); Idx := To_Index (C); Put_Line ("Index of element with value 13 is " & Extended_Index'Image (Idx)); end Show_Find_Vector_Element;

As we saw in the previous section, we can directly access vector elements by using either an index or cursor. However, an exception is raised if we try to access an element with an invalid index or cursor, so we must check whether the index or cursor is valid before using it to access an element. In our example, Find_Index or Find might not have found the element in the vector. We check for this possibility by comparing the index to No_Index or the cursor to No_Element. For example:

--  Modify vector element using index
if Idx /= No_Index then
   V (Idx) := 11;
end if;

--  Modify vector element using cursor
if C /= No_Element then
   V (C) := 14;
end if;

Instead of writing V (C) := 14, we could use the longer form V.Replace_Element (C, 14).

Inserting elements

In the previous sections, we've seen examples of how to add elements to a vector:

  • using the concatenation operator (&) at the vector declaration, or

  • calling the Prepend and Append procedures.

You may want to insert an element at a specific position, e.g. before a certain element in the vector. You do this by calling Insert. For example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Insert is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; procedure Show_Elements (V : Vector) is begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Vector has " & Count_Type'Image (V.Length) & " elements"); if not V.Is_Empty then Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); for E of V loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end if; end Show_Elements; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 12; C : Cursor; begin Show_Elements (V); New_Line; Put_Line ("Adding element with value 9 (before 10)..."); -- -- Using V.Insert to insert element into vector -- C := V.Find (10); if C /= No_Element then V.Insert (C, 9); end if; Show_Elements (V); end Show_Vector_Insert;

In this example, we're looking for an element with the value of 10. If we find it, we insert an element with the value of 9 before it.

Removing elements

You can remove elements from a vector by passing either a valid index or cursor to the Delete procedure. If we combine this with the functions Find_Index and Find from the previous section, we can write a program that searches for a specific element and deletes it, if found:

with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Remove_Vector_Element is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13 & 10 & 13; Idx : Extended_Index; C : Cursor; begin -- Use Find_Index to retrieve index of element with value 10 Idx := V.Find_Index (10); -- Checking whether index is valid if Idx /= No_Index then -- Removing element using V.Delete V.Delete (Idx); end if; -- Use Find to retrieve cursor for element with value 13 C := V.Find (13); -- Check whether index is valid if C /= No_Element then -- Remove element using V.Delete V.Delete (C); end if; end Show_Remove_Vector_Element;

We can extend this approach to delete all elements matching a certain value. We just need to keep searching for the element in a loop until we get an invalid index or cursor. For example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Remove_Vector_Elements is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Vectors; procedure Show_Elements (V : Vector) is begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Vector has " & Count_Type'Image (V.Length) & " elements"); if not V.Is_Empty then Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); for E of V loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end if; end Show_Elements; V : Vector := 20 & 10 & 0 & 13 & 10 & 14 & 13; begin Show_Elements (V); -- -- Remove elements using an index -- declare E : constant Integer := 10; I : Extended_Index; begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Removing all elements with value of " & Integer'Image (E) & "..."); loop I := V.Find_Index (E); exit when I = No_Index; V.Delete (I); end loop; end; -- -- Remove elements using a cursor -- declare E : constant Integer := 13; C : Cursor; begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Removing all elements with value of " & Integer'Image (E) & "..."); loop C := V.Find (E); exit when C = No_Element; V.Delete (C); end loop; end; Show_Elements (V); end Show_Remove_Vector_Elements;

In this example, we remove all elements with the value 10 from the vector by retrieving their index. Likewise, we remove all elements with the value 13 by retrieving their cursor.

Other Operations

We've seen some operations on vector elements. Here, we'll see operations on the vector as a whole. The most prominent is the concatenation of multiple vectors, but we'll also see operations on vectors, such as sorting and sorted merging operations, that view the vector as a sequence of elements and operate on the vector considering the element's relations to each other.

We do vector concatenation using the & operator on vectors. Let's consider two vectors V1 and V2. We can concatenate them by doing V := V1 & V2. V contains the resulting vector.

The generic package Generic_Sorting is a child package of Ada.Containers.Vectors. It contains sorting and merging operations. Because it's a generic package, you can't use it directly, but have to instantiate it. In order to use these operations on a vector of integer values (Integer_Vectors, in our example), you need to instantiate it directly as a child of Integer_Vectors. The next example makes it clear how to do this.

After instantiating Generic_Sorting, we make all the operations available to us with the use statement. We can then call Sort to sort the vector and Merge to merge one vector into another.

The following example presents code that manipulates three vectors (V1, V2, V3) using the concatenation, sorting and merging operations:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Vectors; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Vector_Ops is package Integer_Vectors is new Ada.Containers.Vectors (Index_Type => Natural, Element_Type => Integer); package Integer_Vectors_Sorting is new Integer_Vectors.Generic_Sorting; use Integer_Vectors; use Integer_Vectors_Sorting; procedure Show_Elements (V : Vector) is begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Vector has " & Count_Type'Image (V.Length) & " elements"); if not V.Is_Empty then Put_Line ("Vector elements are: "); for E of V loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end if; end Show_Elements; V, V1, V2, V3 : Vector; begin V1 := 10 & 12 & 18; V2 := 11 & 13 & 19; V3 := 15 & 19; New_Line; Put_Line ("---- V1 ----"); Show_Elements (V1); New_Line; Put_Line ("---- V2 ----"); Show_Elements (V2); New_Line; Put_Line ("---- V3 ----"); Show_Elements (V3); New_Line; Put_Line ("Concatenating V1, V2 and V3 into V:"); V := V1 & V2 & V3; Show_Elements (V); New_Line; Put_Line ("Sorting V:"); Sort (V); Show_Elements (V); New_Line; Put_Line ("Merging V2 into V1:"); Merge (V1, V2); Show_Elements (V1); end Show_Vector_Ops;

The Reference Manual requires that the worst-case complexity of a call to Sort be O(\(N^2\)) and the average complexity be better than O(\(N^2\)).

Sets

Sets are another class of containers. While vectors allow duplicated elements to be inserted, sets ensure that no duplicated elements exist.

In the following sections, we'll see operations you can perform on sets. However, since many of the operations on vectors are similar to the ones used for sets, we'll cover them more quickly here. Please refer back to the section on vectors for a more detailed discussion.

Initialization and iteration

To initialize a set, you can call the Insert procedure. However, if you do, you need to ensure no duplicate elements are being inserted: if you try to insert a duplicate, you'll get an exception. If you have less control over the elements to be inserted so that there may be duplicates, you can use another option instead:

  • a version of Insert that returns a Boolean value indicating whether the insertion was successful;

  • the Include procedure, which silently ignores any attempt to insert a duplicated element.

To iterate over a set, you can use a for E of S loop, as you saw for vectors. This gives you a reference to each element in the set.

Let's see an example:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Set_Init is package Integer_Sets is new Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets (Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Sets; S : Set; -- Same as: S : Integer_Sets.Set; C : Cursor; Ins : Boolean; begin S.Insert (20); S.Insert (10); S.Insert (0); S.Insert (13); -- Calling S.Insert(0) now would raise Constraint_Error -- because this element is already in the set. -- We instead call a version of Insert that doesn't raise an -- exception but instead returns a Boolean indicating the status S.Insert (0, C, Ins); if not Ins then Put_Line ("Inserting 0 into set was not successful"); end if; -- We can also call S.Include instead -- If the element is already present, the set remains unchanged S.Include (0); S.Include (13); S.Include (14); Put_Line ("Set has " & Count_Type'Image (S.Length) & " elements"); -- -- Iterate over set using for .. of loop -- Put_Line ("Elements:"); for E of S loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end Show_Set_Init;

Operations on elements

In this section, we briefly explore the following operations on sets:

  • Delete and Exclude to remove elements;

  • Contains and Find to verify the existence of elements.

To delete elements, you call the procedure Delete. However, analogously to the Insert procedure above, Delete raises an exception if the element to be deleted isn't present in the set. If you want to permit the case where an element might not exist, you can call Exclude, which silently ignores any attempt to delete a non-existent element.

Contains returns a Boolean value indicating whether a value is contained in the set. Find also looks for an element in a set, but returns a cursor to the element or No_Element if the element doesn't exist. You can use either function to search for elements in a set.

Let's look at an example that makes use of these operations:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Set_Element_Ops is package Integer_Sets is new Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets (Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Sets; procedure Show_Elements (S : Set) is begin New_Line; Put_Line ("Set has " & Count_Type'Image (S.Length) & " elements"); Put_Line ("Elements:"); for E of S loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end Show_Elements; S : Set; begin S.Insert (20); S.Insert (10); S.Insert (0); S.Insert (13); S.Delete (13); -- Calling S.Delete (13) again raises Constraint_Error -- because the element is no longer present -- in the set, so it can't be deleted. -- We can call V.Exclude instead: S.Exclude (13); if S.Contains (20) then Put_Line ("Found element 20 in set"); end if; -- Alternatively, we could use S.Find instead of S.Contains if S.Find (0) /= No_Element then Put_Line ("Found element 0 in set"); end if; Show_Elements (S); end Show_Set_Element_Ops;

In addition to ordered sets used in the examples above, the standard library also offers hashed sets. The Reference Manual requires the following average complexity of each operation:

Operations

Ordered_Sets

Hashed_Sets

  • Insert

  • Include

  • Replace

  • Delete

  • Exclude

  • Find

O(\((log N)^2)\) or better

\(O(log N)\)

Subprogram using cursor

O(\(1\))

O(\(1\))

Other Operations

The previous sections mostly dealt with operations on individual elements of a set. But Ada also provides typical set operations: union, intersection, difference and symmetric difference. In contrast to some vector operations we've seen before (e.g. Merge), here you can use built-in operators, such as -. The following table lists the operations and its associated operator:

Set Operation

Operator

Union

or

Intersection

and

Difference

-

Symmetric difference

xor

The following example makes use of these operators:

with Ada.Containers; use Ada.Containers; with Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Set_Ops is package Integer_Sets is new Ada.Containers.Ordered_Sets (Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Sets; procedure Show_Elements (S : Set) is begin Put_Line ("Elements:"); for E of S loop Put_Line ("- " & Integer'Image (E)); end loop; end Show_Elements; procedure Show_Op (S : Set; Op_Name : String) is begin New_Line; Put_Line (Op_Name & "(set #1, set #2) has " & Count_Type'Image (S.Length) & " elements"); end Show_Op; S1, S2, S3 : Set; begin S1.Insert (0); S1.Insert (10); S1.Insert (13); S2.Insert (0); S2.Insert (10); S2.Insert (14); S3.Insert (0); S3.Insert (10); New_Line; Put_Line ("---- Set #1 ----"); Show_Elements (S1); New_Line; Put_Line ("---- Set #2 ----"); Show_Elements (S2); New_Line; Put_Line ("---- Set #3 ----"); Show_Elements (S3); New_Line; if S3.Is_Subset (S1) then Put_Line ("S3 is a subset of S1"); else Put_Line ("S3 is not a subset of S1"); end if; S3 := S1 and S2; Show_Op (S3, "Intersection"); Show_Elements (S3); S3 := S1 or S2; Show_Op (S3, "Union"); Show_Elements (S3); S3 := S1 - S2; Show_Op (S3, "Difference"); Show_Elements (S3); S3 := S1 xor S2; Show_Op (S3, "Symmetric difference"); Show_Elements (S3); end Show_Set_Ops;

Indefinite maps

The previous sections presented containers for elements of definite types. Although most examples in those sections presented Integer types as element type of the containers, containers can also be used with indefinite types, an example of which is the String type. However, indefinite types require a different kind of containers designed specially for them.

We'll also be exploring a different class of containers: maps. They associate a key with a specific value. An example of a map is the one-to-one association between a person and their age. If we consider a person's name to be the key, the value is the person's age.

Hashed maps

Hashed maps are maps that make use of a hash as a key. The hash itself is calculated by a function you provide.

In other languages

Hashed maps are similar to dictionaries in Python and hashes in Perl. One of the main differences is that these scripting languages allow using different types for the values contained in a single map, while in Ada, both the type of key and value are specified in the package instantiation and remains constant for that specific map. You can't have a map where two elements are of different types or two keys are of different types. If you want to use multiple types, you must create a different map for each and use only one type in each map.

When instantiating a hashed map from Ada.Containers.Indefinite_Hashed_Maps, we specify following elements:

  • Key_Type: type of the key

  • Element_Type: type of the element

  • Hash: hash function for the Key_Type

  • Equivalent_Keys: an equality operator (e.g. =) that indicates whether two keys are to be considered equal.

    • If the type specified in Key_Type has a standard operator, you can use it, which you do by specifing using that operator as the value of Equivalent_Keys.

In the next example, we'll use a string as a key type. We'll use the Hash function provided by the standard library for strings (in the Ada.Strings package) and the standard equality operator.

You add elements to a hashed map by calling Insert. If an element is already contained in a map M, you can access it directly by using its key. For example, you can change the value of an element by calling M ("My_Key") := 10. If the key is not found, an exception is raised. To verify if a key is available, use the function Contains (as we've seen above in the section on sets).

Let's see an example:

with Ada.Containers.Indefinite_Hashed_Maps; with Ada.Strings.Hash; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Hashed_Map is package Integer_Hashed_Maps is new Ada.Containers.Indefinite_Hashed_Maps (Key_Type => String, Element_Type => Integer, Hash => Ada.Strings.Hash, Equivalent_Keys => "="); use Integer_Hashed_Maps; M : Map; -- Same as: M : Integer_Hashed_Maps.Map; begin M.Include ("Alice", 24); M.Include ("John", 40); M.Include ("Bob", 28); if M.Contains ("Alice") then Put_Line ("Alice's age is " & Integer'Image (M ("Alice"))); end if; -- Update Alice's age -- Key must already exist in M. -- Otherwise an exception is raised. M ("Alice") := 25; New_Line; Put_Line ("Name & Age:"); for C in M.Iterate loop Put_Line (Key (C) & ": " & Integer'Image (M (C))); end loop; end Show_Hashed_Map;

Ordered maps

Ordered maps share many features with hashed maps. The main differences are:

  • A hash function isn't needed. Instead, you must provide an ordering function (< operator), which the ordered map will use to order elements and allow fast access, \(O(log n)\), using a binary search.

    • If the type specified in Key_Type has a standard < operator, you can use it in a similar way as we did for Equivalent_Keys above for hashed maps.

Let's see an example:

with Ada.Containers.Indefinite_Ordered_Maps; with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO; procedure Show_Ordered_Map is package Integer_Ordered_Maps is new Ada.Containers.Indefinite_Ordered_Maps (Key_Type => String, Element_Type => Integer); use Integer_Ordered_Maps; M : Map; begin M.Include ("Alice", 24); M.Include ("John", 40); M.Include ("Bob", 28); if M.Contains ("Alice") then Put_Line ("Alice's age is " & Integer'Image (M ("Alice"))); end if; -- Update Alice's age -- Key must already exist in M M ("Alice") := 25; New_Line; Put_Line ("Name & Age:"); for C in M.Iterate loop Put_Line (Key (C) & ": " & Integer'Image (M (C))); end loop; end Show_Ordered_Map;

You can see a great similarity between the examples above and from the previous section. In fact, since both kinds of maps share many operations, we didn't need to make extensive modifications when we changed our example to use ordered maps instead of hashed maps. The main difference is seen when we run the examples: the output of a hashed map is usually unordered, but the output of a ordered map is always ordered, as implied by its name.

Complexity

Hashed maps are generally the fastest data structure available to you in Ada if you need to associate heterogeneous keys to values and search for them quickly. In most cases, they are slightly faster than ordered maps. So if you don't need ordering, use hashed maps.

The Reference Manual requires the following average complexity of operations:

Operations

Ordered_Maps

Hashed_Maps

  • Insert

  • Include

  • Replace

  • Delete

  • Exclude

  • Find

O(\((log N)^2)\) or better

\(O(log N)\)

Subprogram using cursor

O(\(1\))

O(\(1\))