# data.table

##### Enhanced data.frame

`data.table`

*inherits* from `data.frame`

. It offers fast subset, fast grouping, fast update, fast ordered joins and list columns in a short and flexible syntax, for faster development. It is inspired by `A[B]`

syntax in Rwhere `A`

is a matrix and `B`

is a 2-column matrix. Since a `data.table`

*is* a `data.frame`

, it is compatible with Rfunctions and packages that *only* accept `data.frame`

.
The 10 minute quick start guide to `data.table`

may be a good place to start: `vignette("datatable-intro")`

}. Or, the first section of FAQs is intended to be read from start to finish and is considered core documentation: `vignette("datatable-faq")`

}. If you have read and searched these documents and the help page below, please feel free to ask questions on `bug.report(package="data.table")`

.
Please check the `example(data.table)`

and study the output at the prompt.
*NEW* :

- Keywords
- data

##### Usage

```
data.table(..., keep.rownames=FALSE, check.names=FALSE, key=NULL)
## S3 method for class 'data.table':
[(x, i, j, by, keyby, with = TRUE,
nomatch = getOption("datatable.nomatch"), # default: NA_integer_
mult = "all",
roll = FALSE,
rollends = if (roll=="nearest") c(TRUE,TRUE)
else if (roll>=0) c(FALSE,TRUE)
else c(TRUE,FALSE),
which = FALSE,
.SDcols,
verbose = getOption("datatable.verbose"), # default: FALSE
allow.cartesian = getOption("datatable.allow.cartesian"), # default: FALSE
drop = NULL,
rolltolast = FALSE # deprecated
)
```

##### Arguments

- ...
- Just as
`...`

in`data.frame`

. Usual recycling rules are applied to vectors of different lengths to create a list of equal length vectors. - keep.rownames
- If
`...`

is a`matrix`

or`data.frame`

,`TRUE`

will retain the rownames of that object in a column named`rn`

. - check.names
- Just as
`check.names`

in`data.frame`

. - key
- Character vector of one or more column names which is passed to
`setkey`

. It may be a single comma separated string such as`key="x,y,z"`

, or a vector of names such as`key=c("x","y","z")`

- x
- A
`data.table`

. - i
- Integer, logical or character vector, expression of column names,
`list`

or`data.table`

. integer and logical vectors work the same way they do in`[.data.frame`

. Other than - j
- A single column name, single expresson of column names,
`list()`

of expressions of column names, an expression or function call that evaluates to`list`

(including`data.frame`

and`data.table`

which are`l`

- by
- A single unquoted column name, a
`list()`

of expressions of column names, a single character string containing comma separated column names (where spaces are significant since column names may contain spaces even at the start or end), or a char - keyby
- An
*ad hoc by*just as`by`

but with an additional`setkey()`

on the`by`

columns of the result, for convenience. Not to be confused with a*keyed by*as defined above. - with
- By default
`with=TRUE`

and`j`

is evaluated within the frame of`x`

. The column names can be used as variables. When`with=FALSE`

,`j`

is a vector of names or positions to select. - nomatch
- Same as
`nomatch`

in`match`

. When a row in`i`

has no match to`x`

's key,`nomatch=NA`

(default) means`NA`

is returned for`x`

's non-join colu - mult
- When
*multiple*rows in`x`

match to the row in`i`

,`mult`

controls which are returned:`"all"`

(default),`"first"`

or`"last"`

. - roll
- Applies to the last join column, generally a date but can be any ordered variable, irregular and including gaps. If
`roll=TRUE`

and`i`

's row matches to all but the last`x`

join column, and its value in the last`i`

- rollends
- A logical vector length 2 (a single logical is recycled). When rolling forward (e.g.
`roll=TRUE`

) if a value is past the*last*observation within each group defined by the join columns,`rollends[2]=TRUE`

will roll the last v - which
`TRUE`

returns the row numbers of`x`

that`i`

matches to.`NA`

returns the row numbers of`i`

that have no match in`x`

. By default`FALSE`

and the rows in`x`

that m- .SDcols
- Advanced. Specifies the columns of
`x`

included in`.SD`

. May be character column names or numeric positions. This is useful for speed when applying a function through a subset of (possible very many) columns; e.g.,`DT[,lapply(`

- verbose
`TRUE`

turns on status and information messages to the console. Turn this on by default using`options(datatable.verbose=TRUE)`

. The quantity and types of verbosity may be expanded in future.- allow.cartesian
`FALSE`

prevents joins that would result in more than`max(nrow(x),nrow(i))`

rows. This is usually caused by duplicate values in`i`

's join columns, each of which join to the same group in `x` over and over again: a*mi*- drop
- Never used by
`data.table`

. Do not use. It needs to be here because`data.table`

inherits from`data.frame`

. See`vignette("datatable-faq")`

. - rolltolast
- Deprecated. Setting
`rolltolast=TRUE`

is converted to`roll=TRUE;rollends=FALSE`

for backwards compatibility.

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##### Details

`data.table`

builds on base Rfunctionality to reduce 2 types of time :

- programming time (easier to write, read, debug and maintain)
- compute time

It combines database like operations such as `subset`

, `with`

and `by`

and provides similar joins that `merge`

provides but faster. This is achieved by using R's column based ordered in-memory `data.frame`

structure, `eval`

within the environment of a `list`

, the `[.data.table`

mechanism to condense the features, and compiled C to make certain operations fast.

The package can be used just for rapid programming (compact syntax). Largest compute time benefits are on 64bit platforms with plentiful RAM, or when smaller datasets are repeatedly queried within a loop, or when other methods use so much working memory that they fail with an out of memory error.

As with `[.data.frame`

, *compound queries* can be concatenated on one line; e.g.,
DT[,sum(v),by=colA][V1<300][tail(order(v1))] 6="" 300="" #="" sum(v)="" by="" cola="" then="" return="" the="" largest="" which="" are="" under="" ```
j expression does not have to return data; e.g.,
DT[,plot(colB,colC),by=colA]
# produce a set of plots (likely to pdf) returning no data
Multiple
````data.table`

s (e.g. `X`

, `Y`

and `Z`

) can be joined in many ways; e.g.,
X[Y][Z]
X[Z][Y]
X[Y[Z]]
X[Z[Y]]
A `data.table`

is a `list`

of vectors, just like a `data.frame`

. However :
- it never has rownames. Instead it may have one
*key*of one or more columns. This key can be used for row indexing instead of rownames. - it has enhanced functionality in
`[.data.table`

for fast joins of keyed tables, fast aggregation, fast last observation carried forward (LOCF) and fast add/modify/delete of columns by reference with no copy at all.

Since a `list`

*is* a `vector`

, `data.table`

columns may be type `list`

. Columns of type `list`

can contain mixed types. Each item in a column of type `list`

may be different lengths. This is true of `data.frame`

, too.

Several *methods* are provided for `data.table`

, including `is.na`

, `na.omit`

,
`t`

, `rbind`

, `cbind`

, `merge`

and others.

##### Note

If `keep.rownames`

or `check.names`

are supplied they must be written in full because Rdoes not allow partial argument names after ``...`

`. For example, `data.table(DF,keep=TRUE)`

will create a
column called `"keep"`

containing `TRUE`

and this is correct behaviour; `data.table(DF,keep.rownames=TRUE)`

was intended.
POSIXlt is not supported as a column type because it uses 40 bytes to store a single datetime. Unexpected errors may occur if you manage to create a column of type POSIXlt. Please see http://r-forge.r-project.org/scm/viewvc.php/pkg/NEWS?view=markup&root=datatable {NEWS} for 1.6.3, and `IDateTime`

instead. IDateTime has methods to convert to and from POSIXlt.

##### References

`data.table`

homepage: http://datatable.r-forge.r-project.org/
User reviews: http://crantastic.org/packages/data-table
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_search
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radix_sort

##### See Also

`data.frame`

, `[.data.frame`

, `as.data.table`

, `setkey`

, `J`

, `SJ`

, `CJ`

, `merge.data.table`

, `tables`

, `test.data.table`

, `IDateTime`

, `unique.data.table`

, `copy`

, `:=`

, `alloc.col`

, `truelength`

, `rbindlist`

html {

}
##### Examples

```
example(data.table) # to run these examples at the prompt
DF = data.frame(x=rep(c("a","b","c"),each=3), y=c(1,3,6), v=1:9)
DT = data.table(x=rep(c("a","b","c"),each=3), y=c(1,3,6), v=1:9)
DF
DT
identical(dim(DT),dim(DF)) # TRUE
identical(DF$a, DT$a) # TRUE
is.list(DF) # TRUE
is.list(DT) # TRUE
is.data.frame(DT) # TRUE
tables()
DT[2] # 2nd row
DT[,v] # v column (as vector)
DT[,list(v)] # v column (as data.table)
DT[2:3,sum(v)] # sum(v) over rows 2 and 3
DT[2:5,cat(v,"")] # just for j's side effect
DT[c(FALSE,TRUE)] # even rows (usual recycling)
DT[,2,with=FALSE] # 2nd column
colNum = 2
DT[,colNum,with=FALSE] # same
setkey(DT,x) # set a 1-column key. No quotes, for convenience.
setkeyv(DT,"x") # same (v in setkeyv stands for vector)
v="x"
setkeyv(DT,v) # same
# key(DT)<-"x" # copies whole table, please use set* functions instead
DT["a"] # binary search (fast)
DT[x=="a"] # vector scan (slow)
DT[,sum(v),by=x] # keyed by
DT[,sum(v),by=key(DT)] # same
DT[,sum(v),by=y] # ad hoc by
DT["a",sum(v)] # j for one group
DT[c("a","b"),sum(v)] # j for two groups
X = data.table(c("b","c"),foo=c(4,2))
X
DT[X] # join
DT[X,sum(v)] # join and eval j for each row in i
DT[X,mult="first"] # first row of each group
DT[X,mult="last"] # last row of each group
DT[X,sum(v)*foo] # join inherited scope
setkey(DT,x,y) # 2-column key
setkeyv(DT,c("x","y")) # same
DT["a"] # join to 1st column of key
DT[J("a")] # same. J() stands for Join, an alias for list()
DT[list("a")] # same
DT[.("a")] # same. In the style of package plyr.
DT[J("a",3)] # join to 2 columns
DT[.("a",3)] # same
DT[J("a",3:6)] # join 4 rows (2 missing)
DT[J("a",3:6),nomatch=0] # remove missing
DT[J("a",3:6),roll=TRUE] # rolling join (locf)
DT[,sum(v),by=list(y%%2)] # by expression
DT[,.SD[2],by=x] # 2nd row of each group
DT[,tail(.SD,2),by=x] # last 2 rows of each group
DT[,lapply(.SD,sum),by=x] # apply through columns by group
DT[,list(MySum=sum(v),
MyMin=min(v),
MyMax=max(v)),
by=list(x,y%%2)] # by 2 expressions
DT[,sum(v),x][V1<20] # compound query
DT[,sum(v),x][order(-V1)] # ordering results
print(DT[,z:=42L]) # add new column by reference
print(DT[,z:=NULL]) # remove column by reference
print(DT["a",v:=42L]) # subassign to existing v column by reference
print(DT["b",v2:=84L]) # subassign to new column by reference (NA padded)
DT[,m:=mean(v),by=x][] # add new column by reference by group
# NB: postfix [] is shortcut to print()
DT[,.SD[which.min(v)],by=x][] # nested query by group
DT[!J("a")] # not join
DT[!"a"] # same
DT[!2:4] # all rows other than 2:4
DT[x!="b" | y!=3] # multiple vector scanning approach, slow
DT[!J("b",3)] # same result but much faster
# Follow r-help posting guide, support is here (*not* r-help) :
# datatable-help@lists.r-forge.r-project.org
# or
# http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/data.table
vignette("datatable-intro")
vignette("datatable-faq")
vignette("datatable-timings")
test.data.table() # over 700 low level tests
update.packages() # keep up to date
```

* Documentation reproduced from package data.table, version 1.8.10,
License: GPL (>= 2)
*
### Community examples

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