Deathbob Deathbob - 1 year ago 184
C++ Question

Generating a Unique ID in c++

What is the best way to generate a Unique ID from two (or more) short ints in C++? I am trying to uniquely identify vertices in a graph. The vertices contain two to four short ints as data, and ideally the ID would be some kind of a hash of them. Prefer portability and uniqueness over speed or ease.

There are a lot of great answers here, I will be trying them all tonight to see what fits my problem the best. A few more words on what I'm doing.

The graph is a collection of samples from an audio file. I use the graph as a Markov Chain to generate a new audio file from the old file. Since each vertex stores a few samples and points to another sample, and the samples are all short ints, it seemed natural to generate an ID from the data. Combining them into a long long sounds good, but maybe something as simple as just a 0 1 2 3

is all I need. not sure how much space is necessary to guarantee uniqueness, if each vertex stores 2 16 bit samples, there are 2^32 possible combinations correct? and so if each vertex stores 4 samples, there are 2^64 possible combinations?

Library and platform specific solutions not really relevant to this question. I don't want anyone else who might compile my program to have to download additional libraries or change the code to suit their OS.

Answer Source

A simple solution is to use a 64 bit integer where the lower 16 bits is the first vertex coordinate, next 16 bits is the second, and so on. This will be unique for all your vertices, though not very compact.

So here's some half-assed code to do this. Hopefully I got the casts right.

uint64_t generateId( uint16_t v1, uint16_t v2, uint16_t v3, uint16_t v4)
   uint64_t id;
   id = v1 | (((uint64_t)v2) << 16) | (((uint64_t)v3) << 32) | (((uint64_t)v4) << 48);
   return id;

Optionally this could be done with a union (great idea from Leon Timmermans, see comment). Very clean this way:

struct vertex
    uint16_t v1;
    uint16_t v2;
    uint16_t v3;
    uint16_t v4;

union vertexWithId
    vertex v;
    uint64_t id;

int main()
    vertexWithId vWithId;
    // Setup your vertices
    vWithId.v.v1 = 2;
    vWithId.v.v2 = 5;

    // Your id is automatically setup for you!
    std::cout << "Id is " << << std::endl;
    return 0;
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