Ankur Ankur - 3 months ago 12
C++ Question

Sorting a vector of custom objects

How does one go about sorting a vector containing custom (i.e. user defined) objects.

Probably, standard STL algorithm sort along with a predicate (a function or a function object) which would operate on one of the fields (as a key for sorting) in the custom object should be used.

Am I on the right track?

Answer

A simple example using std::sort

struct MyStruct
{
    int key;
    std::string stringValue;

    MyStruct(int k, const std::string& s) : key(k), stringValue(s) {}
};

struct less_than_key
{
    inline bool operator() (const MyStruct& struct1, const MyStruct& struct2)
    {
        return (struct1.key < struct2.key);
    }
};

std::vector < MyStruct > vec;

vec.push_back(MyStruct(4, "test"));
vec.push_back(MyStruct(3, "a"));
vec.push_back(MyStruct(2, "is"));
vec.push_back(MyStruct(1, "this"));

std::sort(vec.begin(), vec.end(), less_than_key());

Edit: As Kirill V. Lyadvinsky pointed out, instead of supplying a sort predicate, you can override the < operator in MyStruct:

struct MyStruct
{
    int key;
    std::string stringValue;

    MyStruct(int k, const std::string& s) : key(k), stringValue(s) {}

    bool operator < (const MyStruct& str) const
    {
        return (key < str.key);
    }
};

Using this method means you can simply sort the vector as follows:

std::sort(vec.begin(), vec.end());

Edit2: As Kappa suggests you can also sort the vector in the descending order by override > operator and changing call of sort a bit:

struct MyStruct
{
    int key;
    std::string stringValue;

    MyStruct(int k, const std::string& s) : key(k), stringValue(s) {}

    bool operator > (const MyStruct& str) const
    {
        return (key > str.key);
    }
};

And you should call sort as:

std::sort(vec.begin(), vec.end(),greater<MyStruct>());
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