apply {base}R Documentation

Apply Functions Over Array Margins


Returns a vector or array or list of values obtained by applying a function to margins of an array.


apply(X, MARGIN, FUN, ...)


X the array to be used.
MARGIN a vector giving the subscripts which the function will be applied over. 1 indicates rows, 2 indicates columns, c(1,2) indicates rows and columns.
FUN the function to be applied: see Details. In the case of functions like +, %*%, etc., the function name must be backquoted or quoted.
... optional arguments to FUN.


If X is not an array but has a dimension attribute, apply attempts to coerce it to an array via as.matrix if it is two-dimensional (e.g., data frames) or via as.array.

FUN is found by a call to and typically is either a function or a symbol (e.g. a backquoted name) or a character string specifying a function to be searched for from the environment of the call to apply.


If each call to FUN returns a vector of length n, then apply returns an array of dimension c(n, dim(X)[MARGIN]) if n > 1. If n equals 1, apply returns a vector if MARGIN has length 1 and an array of dimension dim(X)[MARGIN] otherwise. If n is 0, the result has length 0 but not necessarily the “correct” dimension.
If the calls to FUN return vectors of different lengths, apply returns a list of length prod(dim(X)[MARGIN]) with dim set to MARGIN if this has length greater than one.
In all cases the result is coerced by as.vector to one of the basic vector types before the dimensions are set, so that (for example) factor results will be coerced to a character array.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

lapply, tapply, and convenience functions sweep and aggregate.


## Compute row and column sums for a matrix:
x <- cbind(x1 = 3, x2 = c(4:1, 2:5))
dimnames(x)[[1]] <- letters[1:8]
apply(x, 2, mean, trim = .2)
col.sums <- apply(x, 2, sum)
row.sums <- apply(x, 1, sum)
rbind(cbind(x, Rtot = row.sums), Ctot = c(col.sums, sum(col.sums)))

stopifnot( apply(x, 2, is.vector)) # not ok in R <= 0.63.2

## Sort the columns of a matrix
apply(x, 2, sort)

##- function with extra args:
cave <- function(x, c1, c2) c(mean(x[c1]), mean(x[c2]))
apply(x,1, cave,  c1="x1", c2=c("x1","x2"))

ma <- matrix(c(1:4, 1, 6:8), nr = 2)
apply(ma, 1, table)  #--> a list of length 2
apply(ma, 1, quantile)# 5 x n matrix with rownames

stopifnot(dim(ma) == dim(apply(ma, 1:2, sum)))## wasn't ok before R 0.63.1

## Example with different lengths for each call
z <- array(1:24, dim=2:4)
zseq <- apply(z, 1:2, function(x) seq(length=max(x)))
zseq         ## a 2 x 3 matrix
typeof(zseq) ## list
dim(zseq) ## 2 3
apply(z, 3, function(x) seq(length=max(x))) # a list without a dim attribute

[Package base version 2.5.0 Index]