Why do these two different ways of constructing an array produce different behaviors?

When I construct a 2 element array in two different ways(e.g. a and b, I get two different results when I add an element to one of the inner arrays. This also happens with append!. Based on the output after constructing each, I'd expect them to be exactly the same?

julia> a = [[],[]] 2-element Array{Array{Any,1},1}: Any[] Any[] julia> push!(a[1],1.0) 1-element Array{Any,1}: 1.0 julia> a 2-element Array{Array{Any,1},1}: Any[1.0] Any[] julia> b = fill([],2) 2-element Array{Array{Any,1},1}: Any[] Any[] julia> push!(b[1],1.0) 1-element Array{Any,1}: 1.0 julia> b 2-element Array{Array{Any,1},1}: Any[1.0] Any[1.0]


fill will create an array initialized with n copies (shallow) of the same object, so that b[1] === b[2], and when you update b[1], you're updating the same object that's also pointed to in b[2].


Take a look at the following examples. Hopefully the behavior is as you expect.


a_1 = [] a_2 = [] a = [a_1, a_2] push!(a_1, 1.0) @show a_1 @show a


a_1 = Any[1.0] a = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0],Any[]]


push!(a[1], 2.0) @show a_1 #Guess what this shows @show a


a_1 = Any[1.0,2.0] a = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0,2.0],Any[]] <hr>


b_n = [] b = fill(b_n, 2) push!(b_n, 1.0) @show b_n @show b


b_n = Any[1.0] b = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0],Any[1.0]]


push!(b[1], 2.0) @show b_n #Guess what this shows @show b


b_n = Any[1.0,2.0] b = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0,2.0],Any[1.0,2.0]]


c_n = [] c = [c_n, c_n] push!(c_n, 1.0) @show c_n @show c


c_n = Any[1.0] c = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0],Any[1.0]]


push!(c[1], 2.0) @show c_n @show c


c_n = Any[1.0,2.0] c = Array{Any,1}[Any[1.0,2.0],Any[1.0,2.0]] <hr>

So Input[1] is the same as your a, and Input[3] is the same as your b

Each time you put a [] you construct a new Vector.

So in the first case: a=[[],[]] creates a vector containing two new vectors which I call a_1 and a_2 in Input[1]

In the second case: b=fill([],2] creates a vector, which I call b_n in Input[3], and then it fills an vector of length 2, with that vector b_n. This it equivelent to the example in Input[3] (with c). I might as well have said: [b_n, b_n] as said fill(b_n,2)

So it references to the same vector at each position. So changing one, changes the both.


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