AFP_555 AFP_555 -4 years ago 92
Java Question

Multiple HashCodes for Java Objects

I'm trying to optimize some code, and when I do this I usually end up getting that helping hand from Hash structures.

What I want to do is divide objects into multiples sets based on some attributes in a very fast way. Basically like SQL GROUP BY statement but for Java.

The thing is that I want to use

HashMap<Object, ArrayList<Object>>
to do this. I want to use multiple grouping ways but an
can only have one

Is there a way to have multiple
in order to be able to group by multiple methods? Are there other structures made to solve this kind of issues? Can I use Java 8 lambda expressions to send a
in the
parameters? Am I silly and there is a super fast way that isn't this complicated?

Note: The hashCodes I want use multiple attributes that are not constant. So for example, creating a String that represents those attributes uniquely won't work because I'd have to refresh the string every time.

Answer Source

What you're describing sounds like a rather convoluted pattern, and possibly a premature optimization. You might have better luck asking a question about how to efficiently replicate GROUP BY-style queries in Java.

That said the easiest way to have multiple hash codes is to have multiple classes. Here's a trivial example:

public class Person {
  String firstName;
  String lastName;

  /** the "real" hashCode() */
  public int hashCode() {
    return firstName.hashCode() + 1234 * lastName.hashCode();

public class PersonWrapper1 {
  Person person;

  public int hashCode() {
    return person.firstName.hashCode();

public class PersonWrapper2 {
  Person person;

  public int hashCode() {
    return person.lastName.hashCode();

By using wrapper classes you can redefine the notion of equality in a type-safe way. Just be careful about how exactly you let these types interact; you can only compare instances of Person, PersonWrapper1, or PersonWrapper2 with other instances of the same type; each class' .equals() method should return false if a different type is passed in.

You might also look at the hashing utilities in Guava, they provide several different hashing functions, along with a BloomFilter implementation, which is a data structure that relies on being able to use multiple hashing functions.

This is done by abstracting the hashing function into a Funnel class. Funnel-able classes simply pipe the values they use for equality into the Funnel, and callers (like BloomFilter) then actually compute the hash codes.

Your last paragraph is confusing; you cannot hope to store objects in a hash-based data structure and then change the values used to compute the hash code. If you do so, the object will no longer be discoverable in the data structure.

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