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An Array is an immutable data array with some logical type and some length. Most logical types are contained in the base Array class; there are also subclasses for DictionaryArray, ListArray, and StructArray.


The Array$create() factory method instantiates an Array and takes the following arguments:

  • x: an R vector, list, or data.frame

  • type: an optional data type for x. If omitted, the type will be inferred from the data.

Array$create() will return the appropriate subclass of Array, such as DictionaryArray when given an R factor.

To compose a DictionaryArray directly, call DictionaryArray$create(), which takes two arguments:

  • x: an R vector or Array of integers for the dictionary indices

  • dict: an R vector or Array of dictionary values (like R factor levels but not limited to strings only)


a <- Array$create(x)

a == a


  • $IsNull(i): Return true if value at index is null. Does not boundscheck

  • $IsValid(i): Return true if value at index is valid. Does not boundscheck

  • $length(): Size in the number of elements this array contains

  • $nbytes(): Total number of bytes consumed by the elements of the array

  • $offset: A relative position into another array's data, to enable zero-copy slicing

  • $null_count: The number of null entries in the array

  • $type: logical type of data

  • $type_id(): type id

  • $Equals(other) : is this array equal to other

  • $ApproxEquals(other) :

  • $Diff(other) : return a string expressing the difference between two arrays

  • $data(): return the underlying ArrayData

  • $as_vector(): convert to an R vector

  • $ToString(): string representation of the array

  • $Slice(offset, length = NULL): Construct a zero-copy slice of the array with the indicated offset and length. If length is NULL, the slice goes until the end of the array.

  • $Take(i): return an Array with values at positions given by integers (R vector or Array Array) i.

  • $Filter(i, keep_na = TRUE): return an Array with values at positions where logical vector (or Arrow boolean Array) i is TRUE.

  • $SortIndices(descending = FALSE): return an Array of integer positions that can be used to rearrange the Array in ascending or descending order

  • $RangeEquals(other, start_idx, end_idx, other_start_idx) :

  • $cast(target_type, safe = TRUE, options = cast_options(safe)): Alter the data in the array to change its type.

  • $View(type): Construct a zero-copy view of this array with the given type.

  • $Validate() : Perform any validation checks to determine obvious inconsistencies within the array's internal data. This can be an expensive check, potentially O(length)


my_array <- Array$create(1:10)
#> Int32
#> int32
#> Array
#> <int8>
#> [
#>   1,
#>   2,
#>   3,
#>   4,
#>   5,
#>   6,
#>   7,
#>   8,
#>   9,
#>   10
#> ]

# Check if value is null; zero-indexed
na_array <- Array$create(c(1:5, NA))
#> [1] FALSE
#> [1] TRUE
#> [1] FALSE
#> [1] 1

# zero-copy slicing; the offset of the new Array will be the same as the index passed to $Slice
new_array <- na_array$Slice(5)
#> [1] 5

# Compare 2 arrays
na_array2 <- na_array
na_array2 == na_array # element-wise comparison
#> Array
#> <bool>
#> [
#>   true,
#>   true,
#>   true,
#>   true,
#>   true,
#>   null
#> ]
na_array2$Equals(na_array) # overall comparison
#> [1] TRUE