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How to sort by two fields in Java?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have array of objects person ( int age; String name;).

How to sort this array that persons are going alphabetically sorted , then by age ?

Which algorithm is for this ?

Answers:

You can use Collections.sort as follows:

private static void order(List<Person> persons) {

    Collections.sort(persons, new Comparator() {

        public int compare(Object o1, Object o2) {

            String x1 = ((Person) o1).getName();
            String x2 = ((Person) o2).getName();
            int sComp = x1.compareTo(x2);

            if (sComp != 0) {
               return sComp;
            } else {
               Integer x1 = ((Person) o1).getAge();
               Integer x2 = ((Person) o2).getAge();
               return x1.compareTo(x2);
            }
    }});
}

List<Persons> is now sorted by name, then by age.

String.compareTo “Compares two strings lexicographically” – from the docs.

Collections.sort is a static method in the native Collections library. It does the actual sorting, you just need to provide a Comparator which defines how two elements in your list should be compared: this is achieved by providing your own implementation of the compare method.

Questions:
Answers:

For those able to use the Java 8 streaming API, there is a neater approach that is well documented here:
Lambdas and sorting

I was looking for the equivalent of the C# LINQ:

.ThenBy(...)

I found the mechanism in Java 8 on the Comparator:

.thenComparing(...)

So here is the snippet that demonstrates the algorithm.

    Comparator<Person> comparator = Comparator.comparing(person -> person.name);
    comparator = comparator.thenComparing(Comparator.comparing(person -> person.age));

Check out the link above for a neater way and an explanation about how Java’s type inference makes it a bit more clunky to define compared to LINQ.

Here is the full unit test for reference:

@Test
public void testChainedSorting()
{
    // Create the collection of people:
    ArrayList<Person> people = new ArrayList<>();
    people.add(new Person("Dan", 4));
    people.add(new Person("Andi", 2));
    people.add(new Person("Bob", 42));
    people.add(new Person("Debby", 3));
    people.add(new Person("Bob", 72));
    people.add(new Person("Barry", 20));
    people.add(new Person("Cathy", 40));
    people.add(new Person("Bob", 40));
    people.add(new Person("Barry", 50));

    // Define chained comparators:
    // Great article explaining this and how to make it even neater:
    // http://blog.jooq.org/2014/01/31/java-8-friday-goodies-lambdas-and-sorting/
    Comparator<Person> comparator = Comparator.comparing(person -> person.name);
    comparator = comparator.thenComparing(Comparator.comparing(person -> person.age));

    // Sort the stream:
    Stream<Person> personStream = people.stream().sorted(comparator);

    // Make sure that the output is as expected:
    List<Person> sortedPeople = personStream.collect(Collectors.toList());
    Assert.assertEquals("Andi",  sortedPeople.get(0).name); Assert.assertEquals(2,  sortedPeople.get(0).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Barry", sortedPeople.get(1).name); Assert.assertEquals(20, sortedPeople.get(1).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Barry", sortedPeople.get(2).name); Assert.assertEquals(50, sortedPeople.get(2).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Bob",   sortedPeople.get(3).name); Assert.assertEquals(40, sortedPeople.get(3).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Bob",   sortedPeople.get(4).name); Assert.assertEquals(42, sortedPeople.get(4).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Bob",   sortedPeople.get(5).name); Assert.assertEquals(72, sortedPeople.get(5).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Cathy", sortedPeople.get(6).name); Assert.assertEquals(40, sortedPeople.get(6).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Dan",   sortedPeople.get(7).name); Assert.assertEquals(4,  sortedPeople.get(7).age);
    Assert.assertEquals("Debby", sortedPeople.get(8).name); Assert.assertEquals(3,  sortedPeople.get(8).age);
    // Andi     : 2
    // Barry    : 20
    // Barry    : 50
    // Bob      : 40
    // Bob      : 42
    // Bob      : 72
    // Cathy    : 40
    // Dan      : 4
    // Debby    : 3
}

/**
 * A person in our system.
 */
public static class Person
{
    /**
     * Creates a new person.
     * @param name The name of the person.
     * @param age The age of the person.
     */
    public Person(String name, int age)
    {
        this.age = age;
        this.name = name;
    }

    /**
     * The name of the person.
     */
    public String name;

    /**
     * The age of the person.
     */
    public int age;

    @Override
    public String toString()
    {
        if (name == null) return super.toString();
        else return String.format("%s : %d", this.name, this.age);
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

Using the Java 8 Streams approach…

//Creates and sorts a stream (does not sort the original list)       
persons.stream().sorted(Comparator.comparing(Person::getName).thenComparing(Person::getAge));

And the Java 8 Lambda approach…

//Sorts the original list Lambda style
persons.sort((p1, p2) -> {
        if (p1.getName().compareTo(p2.getName()) == 0) {
            return p1.getAge().compareTo(p2.getAge());
        } else {
            return p1.getName().compareTo(p2.getName());
        } 
    });

Lastly…

//This is similar SYNTAX to the Streams above, but it sorts the original list!!
persons.sort(Comparator.comparing(Person::getName).thenComparing(Person::getAge));

Questions:
Answers:

You need to implement your own Comparator, and then use it: for example

Arrays.sort(persons, new PersonComparator());

Your Comparator could look a bit like this:

public class PersonComparator implements Comparator<? extends Person> {

  public int compare(Person p1, Person p2) {
     int nameCompare = p1.name.compareToIgnoreCase(p2.name);
     if (nameCompare != 0) {
        return nameCompare;
     } else {
       return Integer.valueOf(p1.age).compareTo(Integer.valueOf(p2.age));
     }
  }
}

The comparator first compares the names, if they are not equals it returns the result from comparing them, else it returns the compare result when comparing the ages of both persons.

This code is only a draft: because the class is immutable you could think of building an singleton of it, instead creating a new instance for each sorting.

Questions:
Answers:

Have your person class implement Comparable<Person> and then implement the compareTo method, for instance:

public int compareTo(Person o) {
    int result = name.compareToIgnoreCase(o.name);
    if(result==0) {
        return Integer.valueOf(age).compareTo(o.age);
    }
    else {
        return result;
    }
}

That will sort first by name (case insensitively) and then by age. You can then run Arrays.sort() or Collections.sort() on the collection or array of Person objects.

Questions:
Answers:

Or you can exploit the fact that Collections.sort() (or Arrays.sort()) is stable (it doesn’t reorder elements that are equal) and use a Comparator to sort by age first and then another one to sort by name.

In this specific case this isn’t a very good idea but if you have to be able to change the sort order in runtime, it might be useful.

Questions:
Answers:

Use Comparator and then put objects into Collection, then Collections.sort();

class Person {

    String fname;
    String lname;
    int age;

    public Person() {
    }

    public int getAge() {
        return age;
    }

    public void setAge(int age) {
        this.age = age;
    }

    public String getFname() {
        return fname;
    }

    public void setFname(String fname) {
        this.fname = fname;
    }

    public String getLname() {
        return lname;
    }

    public void setLname(String lname) {
        this.lname = lname;
    }

    public Person(String fname, String lname, int age) {
        this.fname = fname;
        this.lname = lname;
        this.age = age;
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return fname + "," + lname + "," + age;
    }
}

public class Main{

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        List<Person> persons = new java.util.ArrayList<Person>();
        persons.add(new Person("abc3", "def3", 10));
        persons.add(new Person("abc2", "def2", 32));
        persons.add(new Person("abc1", "def1", 65));
        persons.add(new Person("abc4", "def4", 10));
        System.out.println(persons);
        Collections.sort(persons, new Comparator<Person>() {

            @Override
            public int compare(Person t, Person t1) {
                return t.getAge() - t1.getAge();
            }
        });
        System.out.println(persons);

    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

You can use generic serial Comparator to sort collections by multiple fields.

import org.apache.commons.lang3.reflect.FieldUtils;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;

/**
* @author MaheshRPM
*/
public class SerialComparator<T> implements Comparator<T> {
List<String> sortingFields;

public SerialComparator(List<String> sortingFields) {
    this.sortingFields = sortingFields;
}

public SerialComparator(String... sortingFields) {
    this.sortingFields = Arrays.asList(sortingFields);
}

@Override
public int compare(T o1, T o2) {
    int result = 0;
    try {
        for (String sortingField : sortingFields) {
            if (result == 0) {
                Object value1 = FieldUtils.readField(o1, sortingField, true);
                Object value2 = FieldUtils.readField(o2, sortingField, true);
                if (value1 instanceof Comparable && value2 instanceof Comparable) {
                    Comparable comparable1 = (Comparable) value1;
                    Comparable comparable2 = (Comparable) value2;
                    result = comparable1.compareTo(comparable2);
                } else {
                    throw new RuntimeException("Cannot compare non Comparable fields. " + value1.getClass()
                            .getName() + " must implement Comparable<" + value1.getClass().getName() + ">");
                }
            } else {
                break;
            }
        }
    } catch (IllegalAccessException e) {
        throw new RuntimeException(e);
    }
    return result;
}
}

Questions:
Answers:

You can do like this:

List<User> users = Lists.newArrayList(
  new User("Pedro", 12), 
  new User("Maria", 10), 
  new User("Rafael",12)
);

users.sort(
  Comparator.comparing(User::getName).thenComparing(User::getAge)
);

Questions:
Answers:
Arrays.sort(persons, new PersonComparator());



import java.util.Comparator;

public class PersonComparator implements Comparator<? extends Person> {

    @Override
    public int compare(Person o1, Person o2) {
        if(null == o1 || null == o2  || null == o1.getName() || null== o2.getName() ){
            throw new NullPointerException();
        }else{
            int nameComparisonResult = o1.getName().compareTo(o2.getName());
            if(0 == nameComparisonResult){
                return o1.getAge()-o2.getAge();
            }else{
                return nameComparisonResult;
            }
        }
    }
}


class Person{
    int age; String name;

    public int getAge() {
        return age;
    }

    public void setAge(int age) {
        this.age = age;
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }

}

Updated version:

public class PersonComparator implements Comparator<? extends Person> {

   @Override
   public int compare(Person o1, Person o2) {

      int nameComparisonResult = o1.getName().compareToIgnoreCase(o2.getName());
      return 0 == nameComparisonResult?o1.getAge()-o2.getAge():nameComparisonResult;

   }
 }

Questions:
Answers:

For a class Book like this:

package books;

public class Book {

    private Integer id;
    private Integer number;
    private String name;

    public Integer getId() {
        return id;
    }

    public void setId(Integer id) {
        this.id = id;
    }

    public Integer getNumber() {
        return number;
    }

    public void setNumber(Integer number) {
        this.number = number;
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return "book{" +
                "id=" + id +
                ", number=" + number +
                ", name='" + name + '\'' + '\n' +
                '}';
    }
}

sorting main class with mock objects

package books;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.List;


public class Main {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!");

        Book b = new Book();

        Book c = new Book();

        Book d = new Book();

        Book e = new Book();

        Book f = new Book();

        Book g = new Book();
        Book g1 = new Book();
        Book g2 = new Book();
        Book g3 = new Book();
        Book g4 = new Book();




        b.setId(1);
        b.setNumber(12);
        b.setName("gk");

        c.setId(2);
        c.setNumber(12);
        c.setName("gk");

        d.setId(2);
        d.setNumber(13);
        d.setName("maths");

        e.setId(3);
        e.setNumber(3);
        e.setName("geometry");

        f.setId(3);
        f.setNumber(34);
        b.setName("gk");

        g.setId(3);
        g.setNumber(11);
        g.setName("gk");

        g1.setId(3);
        g1.setNumber(88);
        g1.setName("gk");
        g2.setId(3);
        g2.setNumber(91);
        g2.setName("gk");
        g3.setId(3);
        g3.setNumber(101);
        g3.setName("gk");
        g4.setId(3);
        g4.setNumber(4);
        g4.setName("gk");





        List<Book> allBooks = new ArrayList<Book>();

        allBooks.add(b);
        allBooks.add(c);
        allBooks.add(d);
        allBooks.add(e);
        allBooks.add(f);
        allBooks.add(g);
        allBooks.add(g1);
        allBooks.add(g2);
        allBooks.add(g3);
        allBooks.add(g4);



        System.out.println(allBooks.size());


        Collections.sort(allBooks, new Comparator<Book>() {

            @Override
            public int compare(Book t, Book t1) {
                int a =  t.getId()- t1.getId();

                if(a == 0){
                    int a1 = t.getNumber() - t1.getNumber();
                    return a1;
                }
                else
                    return a;
            }
        });
        System.out.println(allBooks);

    }


   }

Questions:
Answers:

I’m not sure if it’s ugly to write the compartor inside the Person class in this case. Did it like this:

public class Person implements Comparable <Person> {

    private String lastName;
    private String firstName;
    private int age;

    public Person(String firstName, String lastName, int BirthDay) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;
        this.age = BirthDay;
    }

    public int getAge() {
        return age;
    }

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;
    }

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;
    }

    @Override
    public int compareTo(Person o) {
        // default compareTo
    }

    @Override
    public String toString() {
        return firstName + " " + lastName + " " + age + "";
    }

    public static class firstNameComperator implements Comparator<Person> {
        @Override
        public int compare(Person o1, Person o2) {
            return o1.firstName.compareTo(o2.firstName);
        }
    }

    public static class lastNameComperator implements Comparator<Person> {
        @Override
        public int compare(Person o1, Person o2) {
            return o1.lastName.compareTo(o2.lastName);
        }
    }

    public static class ageComperator implements Comparator<Person> {
        @Override
        public int compare(Person o1, Person o2) {
            return o1.age - o2.age;
        }
    }
}
public class Test {
    private static void print() {
       ArrayList<Person> list = new ArrayList();
        list.add(new Person("Diana", "Agron", 31));
        list.add(new Person("Kay", "Panabaker", 27));
        list.add(new Person("Lucy", "Hale", 28));
        list.add(new Person("Ashley", "Benson", 28));
        list.add(new Person("Megan", "Park", 31));
        list.add(new Person("Lucas", "Till", 27));
        list.add(new Person("Nicholas", "Hoult", 28));
        list.add(new Person("Aly", "Michalka", 28));
        list.add(new Person("Adam", "Brody", 38));
        list.add(new Person("Chris", "Pine", 37));
        Collections.sort(list, new Person.lastNameComperator());
        Iterator<Person> it = list.iterator();
        while(it.hasNext()) 
            System.out.println(it.next().toString()); 
     }  
}    

Questions:
Answers:

Create as many comparators as necessary. After, call the method “thenComparing” for each order category. It’s a way of doing by Streams. See:

//Sort by first and last name
System.out.println("\n2.Sort list of person objects by firstName then "
                                        + "by lastName then by age");
Comparator<Person> sortByFirstName 
                            = (p, o) -> p.firstName.compareToIgnoreCase(o.firstName);
Comparator<Person> sortByLastName 
                            = (p, o) -> p.lastName.compareToIgnoreCase(o.lastName);
Comparator<Person> sortByAge 
                            = (p, o) -> Integer.compare(p.age,o.age);

//Sort by first Name then Sort by last name then sort by age
personList.stream().sorted(
    sortByFirstName
        .thenComparing(sortByLastName)
        .thenComparing(sortByAge)
     ).forEach(person->
        System.out.println(person));        

Look: Sort user defined object on multiple fields – Comparator (lambda stream)

Questions:
Answers:

Guava’s ComparisonChain provides a clean way of doing it. Refer to this link.

A utility for performing a chained comparison statement. For example:

   public int compareTo(Foo that) {
     return ComparisonChain.start()
         .compare(this.aString, that.aString)
         .compare(this.anInt, that.anInt)
         .compare(this.anEnum, that.anEnum, Ordering.natural().nullsLast())
         .result();
   }