S4groupGeneric {methods} | R Documentation |

Methods can be defined for groups of functions known as *group
generic functions*. These exist in both S3 (see
S3groupGeneric) and S4 flavours, with different groups.

Methods are defined for the group of functions as a whole. A method defined for an individual member of the group takes precedence over a method defined for the group as a whole.

When package **methods** is attached there are objects visible with
the names of the group generics: these functions should never be
called directly (a suitable error message will result if they are).

## S4 group generics: Arith(e1, e2) Compare(e1, e2) Ops(e1, e2) Logic(e1, e2) Math(x) Math2(x, digits) Summary(x, ..., na.rm = FALSE) Complex(z)

`x, z, e1, e2` |
objects. |

`digits` |
number of digits to be used in `round` or `signif` . |

`...` |
further arguments passed to or from methods. |

`na.rm` |
logical: should missing values be removed? |

When package **methods** is attached (which it is by default),
formal (S4) methods can be defined for the group generic functions
(which are **R** objects which should never be called directly
– a suitable error message will result if they are). There are also
S3 groups `Math`

, `Ops`

, `Summary`

and
`Complex`

, see `?S3groupGeneric`

,
with no corresponding **R** objects.

The functions belonging to the various groups are as follows:

`Arith`

`"+"`

,`"-"`

,`"*"`

,`"^"`

,`"%%"`

,`"%/%"`

,`"/"`

`Compare`

`"=="`

,`">"`

,`"<"`

,`"!="`

,`"<="`

,`">="`

`Logic`

`"&"`

,`"|"`

, but**not**`"!"`

since that has only one argument. Note that this is contrary to Chambers(1998), on purpose.`Ops`

`"Arith"`

,`"Compare"`

,`"Logic"`

`Math`

`"log"`

,`"sqrt"`

,`"log10"`

,`"cumprod"`

,`"abs"`

,`"acos"`

,`"acosh"`

,`"asin"`

,`"asinh"`

,`"atan"`

,`"atanh"`

,`"ceiling"`

,`"cos"`

,`"cosh"`

,`"cumsum"`

,`"exp"`

,`"floor"`

,`"gamma"`

,`"lgamma"`

,`"sin"`

,`"sinh"`

,`"tan"`

,`"tanh"`

,`"trunc"`

`Math2`

`"round"`

,`"signif"`

`Summary`

`"max"`

,`"min"`

,`"range"`

,`"prod"`

,`"sum"`

,`"any"`

,`"all"`

`Complex`

`"Arg"`

,`"Conj"`

,`"Im"`

,`"Mod"`

,`"Re"`

Note that `"Ops"`

merely consists of three sub groups.
Functions with the group names exist in the **methods** package but
should not be called directly.

All the functions in these groups (other than the group generics
themselves) are basic functions in **R**. They are not by default S4 generic
functions, and many of them are defined as primitives, meaning that
they do not have formal arguments. However, you can still define
formal methods for them. The effect of doing so is to create an S4 generic
function with the appropriate arguments, in the environment where the
method definition is to be stored. It all works more or less as you
might expect, admittedly via a bit of trickery in the background.

Note: currently those members which are not primitive functions must
have been converted to S4 generic functions (preferably
*before* setting an S4 group generic method) as it only sets
methods for known S4 generics. This can be done by a call to
`setGeneric`

, for example `setGeneric("round", group="Math2")`

.

Appendix A, *Classes and Methods* of

Chambers, J. M. and Hastie, T. J. eds (1992)
*Statistical Models in S.*
Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

Chambers, J. M. (1998) *Programming with Data.* Springer, pp. 352–4.

S3groupGeneric for S3 group generics.

setClass("testComplex", representation(zz = "complex")) ## method for whole group "Complex" setMethod("Complex", "testComplex", function(z) c("groupMethod", callGeneric(z@zz))) ## exception for Arg() : setMethod("Arg", "testComplex", function(z) c("ArgMethod", Arg(z@zz))) z1 <- 1+2i z2 <- new("testComplex", zz = z1) stopifnot(identical(Mod(z2), c("groupMethod", Mod(z1)))) stopifnot(identical(Arg(z2), c("ArgMethod", Arg(z1))))

[Package *methods* version 2.5.0 Index]