# dcast.data.table

##### Fast dcast for data.table

`dcast.data.table`

is a much faster version of `reshape2::dcast`

, but for `data.table`

s. More importantly, it is capable of handling very large data quite efficiently in terms of memory usage in comparison to `reshape2::dcast`

.

From 1.9.6, `dcast`

is implemented as an S3 generic in `data.table`

. To melt or cast `data.table`

s, it is not necessary to load `reshape2`

any more. If you have load `reshape2`

, do so before loading `data.table`

to prevent unwanted masking.

**NEW**: `dcast.data.table`

can now cast multiple `value.var`

columns and also accepts multiple functions to `fun.aggregate`

. See Examples for more.

- Keywords
- data

##### Usage

```
# S3 method for data.table
dcast(data, formula, fun.aggregate = NULL, sep = "_",
…, margins = NULL, subset = NULL, fill = NULL,
drop = TRUE, value.var = guess(data),
verbose = getOption("datatable.verbose"))
```

##### Arguments

- data
A

`data.table`

.- formula
A formula of the form LHS ~ RHS to cast, see Details.

- fun.aggregate
Should the data be aggregated before casting? If the formula doesn't identify a single observation for each cell, then aggregation defaults to

`length`

with a message.**NEW**: it is possible to provide a list of functions to`fun.aggregate`

. See Examples.- sep
Character vector of length 1, indicating the separating character in variable names generated during casting. Default is

`_`

for backwards compatibility.- …
Any other arguments that may be passed to the aggregating function.

- margins
Not implemented yet. Should take variable names to compute margins on. A value of

`TRUE`

would compute all margins.- subset
Specified if casting should be done on a subset of the data. Ex:

`subset = .(col1 <= 5)`

or`subset = .(variable != "January")`

.- fill
Value with which to fill missing cells. If

`fun.aggregate`

is present, takes the value by applying the function on a 0-length vector.- drop
`FALSE`

will cast by including all missing combinations.**NEW:**Following #1512,`c(FALSE, TRUE)`

will only include all missing combinations of formula`LHS`

. And`c(TRUE, FALSE)`

will only include all missing combinations of formula RHS. See Examples.- value.var
Name of the column whose values will be filled to cast. Function `guess()` tries to, well, guess this column automatically, if none is provided.

**NEW**: it is now possible to cast multiple`value.var`

columns simultaneously. See Examples.- verbose
Not used yet. May be dropped in the future or used to provide informative messages through the console.

##### Details

The cast formula takes the form `LHS ~ RHS`

, ex: `var1 + var2 ~ var3`

. The order of entries in the formula is essential. There are two special variables: `.`

and `…`

. `.`

represents no variable; `…`

represents all variables not otherwise mentioned in `formula`

; see Examples.

`dcast`

also allows `value.var`

columns of type `list`

.

When variable combinations in `formula`

doesn't identify a unique value in a cell, `fun.aggregate`

will have to be specified, which defaults to `length`

if unspecified. The aggregating function should take a vector as input and return a single value (or a list of length one) as output. In cases where `value.var`

is a list, the function should be able to handle a list input and provide a single value or list of length one as output.

If the formula's LHS contains the same column more than once, ex: `dcast(DT, x+x~ y)`

, then the answer will have duplicate names. In those cases, the duplicate names are renamed using `make.unique`

so that key can be set without issues.

Names for columns that are being cast are generated in the same order (separated by an underscore, `_`

) from the (unique) values in each column mentioned in the formula RHS.

From `v1.9.4`

, `dcast`

tries to preserve attributes wherever possible.

**NEW**: From `v1.9.6`

, it is possible to cast multiple `value.var`

columns and also cast by providing multiple `fun.aggregate`

functions. Multiple `fun.aggregate`

functions should be provided as a `list`

, for e.g., `list(mean, sum, function(x) paste(x, collapse="")`

. `value.var`

can be either a character vector or list of length=1, or a list of length equal to `length(fun.aggregate)`

. When `value.var`

is a character vector or a list of length 1, each function mentioned under `fun.aggregate`

is applied to every column specified under `value.var`

column. When `value.var`

is a list of length equal to `length(fun.aggregate)`

each element of `fun.aggregate`

is applied to each element of `value.var`

column.

##### Value

A keyed `data.table`

that has been cast. The key columns are equal to the variables in the `formula`

LHS in the same order.

##### See Also

`melt.data.table`

, `rowid`

, https://cran.r-project.org/package=reshape

##### Examples

```
# NOT RUN {
require(data.table)
names(ChickWeight) <- tolower(names(ChickWeight))
DT <- melt(as.data.table(ChickWeight), id=2:4) # calls melt.data.table
# dcast is a S3 method in data.table from v1.9.6
dcast(DT, time ~ variable, fun=mean)
dcast(DT, diet ~ variable, fun=mean)
dcast(DT, diet+chick ~ time, drop=FALSE)
dcast(DT, diet+chick ~ time, drop=FALSE, fill=0)
# using subset
dcast(DT, chick ~ time, fun=mean, subset=.(time < 10 & chick < 20))
# drop argument, #1512
DT <- data.table(v1 = c(1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 2.2, 2.2, 2.2),
v2 = factor(c(1L, 1L, 1L, 3L, 3L, 3L), levels=1:3),
v3 = factor(c(2L, 3L, 5L, 1L, 2L, 6L), levels=1:6),
v4 = c(3L, 2L, 2L, 5L, 4L, 3L))
# drop=TRUE
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 ~ v3) # default is drop=TRUE
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 ~ v3, drop=FALSE) # all missing combinations of both LHS and RHS
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 ~ v3, drop=c(FALSE, TRUE)) # all missing combinations of only LHS
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 ~ v3, drop=c(TRUE, FALSE)) # all missing combinations of only RHS
# using . and ...
DT <- data.table(v1 = rep(1:2, each = 6),
v2 = rep(rep(1:3, 2), each = 2),
v3 = rep(1:2, 6),
v4 = rnorm(6))
dcast(DT,
# }
# NOT RUN {
…
# }
# NOT RUN {
~ v3, value.var = "v4") #same as v1 + v2 ~ v3, value.var = "v4"
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 + v3 ~ ., value.var = "v4")
## for each combination of (v1, v2), add up all values of v4
dcast(DT, v1 + v2 ~ ., value.var = "v4", fun.aggregate = sum)
# }
# NOT RUN {
# benchmark against reshape2's dcast, minimum of 3 runs
set.seed(45)
DT <- data.table(aa=sample(1e4, 1e6, TRUE),
bb=sample(1e3, 1e6, TRUE),
cc = sample(letters, 1e6, TRUE), dd=runif(1e6))
system.time(dcast(DT, aa ~ cc, fun=sum)) # 0.12 seconds
system.time(dcast(DT, bb ~ cc, fun=mean)) # 0.04 seconds
# reshape2::dcast takes 31 seconds
system.time(dcast(DT, aa + bb ~ cc, fun=sum)) # 1.2 seconds
# }
# NOT RUN {
# NEW FEATURE - multiple value.var and multiple fun.aggregate
DT = data.table(x=sample(5,20,TRUE), y=sample(2,20,TRUE),
z=sample(letters[1:2], 20,TRUE), d1 = runif(20), d2=1L)
# multiple value.var
dcast(DT, x + y ~ z, fun=sum, value.var=c("d1","d2"))
# multiple fun.aggregate
dcast(DT, x + y ~ z, fun=list(sum, mean), value.var="d1")
# multiple fun.agg and value.var (all combinations)
dcast(DT, x + y ~ z, fun=list(sum, mean), value.var=c("d1", "d2"))
# multiple fun.agg and value.var (one-to-one)
dcast(DT, x + y ~ z, fun=list(sum, mean), value.var=list("d1", "d2"))
# }
```

*Documentation reproduced from package data.table, version 1.12.0, License: MPL-2.0 | file LICENSE*