Thread: n dimensional arrays

  1. #1
    Registered User linuxdude's Avatar
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    Mar 2003

    n dimensional arrays

    has anyone used a n dimensional array where n is greater than 3. I have never seen a use for it. And how does everyone here picture that many dimensions. I think of it as a point with depth. I dont' know how to think of it past 4 though.

  2. #2
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    The best picture I've seen of high dimensional arrays is to use a tree like view where each dimension is another branch level.

    Ok this is a really bad attempt but its kinda like this:
        |        |           |              |_arr[0][0][0][1]
        |        |           |
        |        |           |_arr[0][0][1]___arr[0][0][1][0]
        |        |                          |_arr[0][0][1][1]
        |        |
        |        |_arr[0][1]___arr[0][1][0]___arr[0][1][0][0]
        |                    |              |_arr[0][1][0][1]
        |                    |
        |                    |_arr[0][1][1]___arr[0][1][1][0]
        |                                   |_arr[0][1][1][1]
                 |           |              |_arr[1][0][0][1]
                 |           |
                 |           |_arr[1][0][1]___arr[1][0][1][0]
                 |                          |_arr[1][0][1][1]
                             |              |_arr[1][1][0][1]
    Hope that helps you
    Last edited by Thantos; 04-18-2004 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Adding in an example

  3. #3
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    Aug 2001
    I once read that an array w/ dimensions > 2 should be avoided, and an array w/ dimensions > 3 is an example of bad coding. I dont think I agree that it's really bad coding, but then again.. I've never seen a use for it.

  4. #4
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    Personally I hate it when someone says XYZ IS an example of bad coding since sometimes it can be the best solution.

    Take the example of a video store which wants to keep the info of each video that is in a particular slot, on a particular shelf, on a particular unit, in a particular row. While there are many ways to orginize the data one really simple way is to use a four dimensional array. store[number of rows][number of units per row][number of shelves per unit][number of slots per shelf]

    Personally I try to avoid true 2d or more arrays whenever possible and use array's of pointers in their stead.

  5. #5
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    In lots of data analysis you use >3 dimensions, i guess arrays might be used in programs that perform said analysis. I don't imagine it persay except by analogy of 2 dimensions to 3 dimensions.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

  6. #6
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Mathematically, I use greater than 3 dimensions with some frequency, but I usually just simulate the appropriate behavior in another structure (which usually uses a 1d array for its implementation).
    Last edited by Zach L.; 04-20-2004 at 08:33 AM.

  7. #7
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    I have used 7 dimensions in a Fortran program some years ago where it was the best solution to my problem, (fluid dynamics application). I have heard of a researcher in Geophyisical Moddelling who used 66 dimensions also under Fortran.
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