data.table (version 1.13.6)

rleid: Generate run-length type group id


A convenience function for generating a run-length type id column to be used in grouping operations. It accepts atomic vectors, lists, data.frames or data.tables as input.


rleid(…, prefix=NULL)
rleidv(x, cols=seq_along(x), prefix=NULL)



A vector, list, data.frame or data.table.

A sequence of numeric, integer64, character or logical vectors, all of same length. For interactive use.


Only meaningful for lists, data.frames or data.tables. A character vector of column names (or numbers) of x.


Either NULL (default) or a character vector of length=1 which is prefixed to the row ids, returning a character vector (instead of an integer vector).


When prefix = NULL, an integer vector with same length as NROW(x), else a character vector with the value in prefix prefixed to the ids obtained.


At times aggregation (or grouping) operations need to be performed where consecutive runs of identical values should belong to the same group (See rle). The use for such a function has come up repeatedly on StackOverflow, see the See Also section. This function allows to generate "run-length" groups directly.

rleid is designed for interactive use and accepts a sequence of vectors as arguments. For programming, rleidv might be more useful.

See Also

data.table, rowid,


Run this code
DT = data.table(grp=rep(c("A", "B", "C", "A", "B"), c(2,2,3,1,2)), value=1:10)
rleid(DT$grp) # get run-length ids
rleidv(DT, "grp") # same as above

rleid(DT$grp, prefix="grp") # prefix with 'grp'

# get sum of value over run-length groups
DT[, sum(value), by=.(grp, rleid(grp))]
DT[, sum(value), by=.(grp, rleid(grp, prefix="grp"))]

# }

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