DennisVDB DennisVDB - 10 months ago 91
Scala Question

Sum a list of options in Scala

How can I sum a list of options (

) with the following rules?

  • List(Some(1), ..., Some(n)) --> Some(1 + ... + n)

  • List(Some(1), ..., Some(n), None) --> None

  • List(None, ..., None) --> None


To avoid the traversal of the entire list with a forall to check if the entire set of options is defined, you could use a foldLeft, and use the fact that you can yield a None the first time you find an empty element in the chain.

def sumList[T : Numeric](list: List[Option[T]]): Option[T] = {
  val numeric = implicitly[Numeric[T]]
  list.foldLeft(Option( { case (acc, el) => 
    el.flatMap(value => =>, value)))

sumList(List(None, None, Some(5)))
res10: Option[Int] = None

scala> sumList(List(None, None, Some(5F)))
res11: Option[Float] = None

scala> sumList[Double](List(None, None, None))
res13: Option[Double] = None

scala> sumList(List(Some(5), Some(15)))
res14: Option[Int] = Some(20)

And to avoid return you could simply use recursion(update, return is not needed above, but maybe this is easier to follow):

def sumListRec[T : Numeric](list: List[Option[T]], acc: T): Option[T] = {
  val numeric = implicitly[Numeric[T]]

  list match {
    // if the list still has elements
    case head :: tail => head match {
      // add the value to the accumulator and keep going
      case Some(value) => sumListRec(tail,, value))
      // if you found a None, disregard whatever sum we built so far
      // and just return None
      case None => None
    // If the list is empty, it means we've successfully reached
    // the end of the list, so we just return the sum we built.
    case Nil => Some(acc)

Watch it in action:

scala> sumListRec(List(Some(5D), Some(5D)), 0D)
res5: Option[Double] = Some(10.0)

sumListRec(List(None, None, Some(5D)), 0D)
res2: Option[Double] = None

scala> sumListRec(List(None, None), 0D)
res6: Option[Double] = None