How do I remove duplicates from a C# array?

220

I have been working with a string[] array in C# that gets returned from a function call. I could possibly cast to a Generic collection, but I was wondering if there was a better way to do it, possibly by using a temp array.

What is the best way to remove duplicates from a C# array?

This question is tagged with c# arrays duplicates

~ Asked on 2008-08-13 11:48:44

27 Answers


447

You could possibly use a LINQ query to do this:

int[] s = { 1, 2, 3, 3, 4};
int[] q = s.Distinct().ToArray();

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 12:03:05


55

Here is the HashSet<string> approach:

public static string[] RemoveDuplicates(string[] s)
{
    HashSet<string> set = new HashSet<string>(s);
    string[] result = new string[set.Count];
    set.CopyTo(result);
    return result;
}

Unfortunately this solution also requires .NET framework 3.5 or later as HashSet was not added until that version. You could also use array.Distinct(), which is a feature of LINQ.

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 13:50:14


11

The following tested and working code will remove duplicates from an array. You must include the System.Collections namespace.

string[] sArray = {"a", "b", "b", "c", "c", "d", "e", "f", "f"};
var sList = new ArrayList();

for (int i = 0; i < sArray.Length; i++) {
    if (sList.Contains(sArray[i]) == false) {
        sList.Add(sArray[i]);
    }
}

var sNew = sList.ToArray();

for (int i = 0; i < sNew.Length; i++) {
    Console.Write(sNew[i]);
}

You could wrap this up into a function if you wanted to.

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 13:04:51


11

If you needed to sort it, then you could implement a sort that also removes duplicates.

Kills two birds with one stone, then.

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 11:51:52


9

This might depend on how much you want to engineer the solution - if the array is never going to be that big and you don't care about sorting the list you might want to try something similar to the following:

    public string[] RemoveDuplicates(string[] myList) {
        System.Collections.ArrayList newList = new System.Collections.ArrayList();

        foreach (string str in myList)
            if (!newList.Contains(str))
                newList.Add(str);
        return (string[])newList.ToArray(typeof(string));
    }

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 13:08:28


7

List<String> myStringList = new List<string>();
foreach (string s in myStringArray)
{
    if (!myStringList.Contains(s))
    {
        myStringList.Add(s);
    }
}

This is O(n^2), which won't matter for a short list which is going to be stuffed into a combo, but could be rapidly be a problem on a big collection.

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 14:19:38


7

Here is a O(n*n) approach that uses O(1) space.

void removeDuplicates(char* strIn)
{
    int numDups = 0, prevIndex = 0;
    if(NULL != strIn && *strIn != '\0')
    {
        int len = strlen(strIn);
        for(int i = 0; i < len; i++)
        {
            bool foundDup = false;
            for(int j = 0; j < i; j++)
            {
                if(strIn[j] == strIn[i])
                {
                    foundDup = true;
                    numDups++;
                    break;
                }
            }

            if(foundDup == false)
            {
                strIn[prevIndex] = strIn[i];
                prevIndex++;
            }
        }

        strIn[len-numDups] = '\0';
    }
}

The hash/linq approaches above are what you would generally use in real life. However in interviews they usually want to put some constraints e.g. constant space which rules out hash or no internal api - which rules out using LINQ.

~ Answered on 2009-12-06 17:50:22


7

-- This is Interview Question asked every time. Now i done its coding.

static void Main(string[] args)
{    
            int[] array = new int[] { 4, 8, 4, 1, 1, 4, 8 };            
            int numDups = 0, prevIndex = 0;

            for (int i = 0; i < array.Length; i++)
            {
                bool foundDup = false;
                for (int j = 0; j < i; j++)
                {
                    if (array[i] == array[j])
                    {
                        foundDup = true;
                        numDups++; // Increment means Count for Duplicate found in array.
                        break;
                    }                    
                }

                if (foundDup == false)
                {
                    array[prevIndex] = array[i];
                    prevIndex++;
                }
            }

            // Just Duplicate records replce by zero.
            for (int k = 1; k <= numDups; k++)
            {               
                array[array.Length - k] = '\0';             
            }


            Console.WriteLine("Console program for Remove duplicates from array.");
            Console.Read();
        }

~ Answered on 2013-07-03 07:50:20


6

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    string a = "a;b;c;d;e;v";
    string[] b = a.Split(';');
    string[] c = b.Distinct().ToArray();

    if (b.Length != c.Length)
    {
        for (int i = 0; i < b.Length; i++)
        {
            try
            {
                if (b[i].ToString() != c[i].ToString())
                {
                    Response.Write("Found duplicate " + b[i].ToString());
                    return;
                }
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Response.Write("Found duplicate " + b[i].ToString());
                return;
            }
        }              
    }
    else
    {
        Response.Write("No duplicate ");
    }
}

~ Answered on 2012-02-14 06:07:27


5

Add all the strings to a dictionary and get the Keys property afterwards. This will produce each unique string, but not necessarily in the same order your original input had them in.

If you require the end result to have the same order as the original input, when you consider the first occurance of each string, use the following algorithm instead:

  1. Have a list (final output) and a dictionary (to check for duplicates)
  2. For each string in the input, check if it exists in the dictionary already
  3. If not, add it both to the dictionary and to the list

At the end, the list contains the first occurance of each unique string.

Make sure you consider things like culture and such when constructing your dictionary, to make sure you handle duplicates with accented letters correctly.

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 12:53:33


5

The following piece of code attempts to remove duplicates from an ArrayList though this is not an optimal solution. I was asked this question during an interview to remove duplicates through recursion, and without using a second/temp arraylist:

private void RemoveDuplicate() 
{

ArrayList dataArray = new ArrayList(5);

            dataArray.Add("1");
            dataArray.Add("1");
            dataArray.Add("6");
            dataArray.Add("6");
            dataArray.Add("6");
            dataArray.Add("3");
            dataArray.Add("6");
            dataArray.Add("4");
            dataArray.Add("5");
            dataArray.Add("4");
            dataArray.Add("1");

            dataArray.Sort();

            GetDistinctArrayList(dataArray, 0);
}

private void GetDistinctArrayList(ArrayList arr, int idx)

{

            int count = 0;

            if (idx >= arr.Count) return;

            string val = arr[idx].ToString();
            foreach (String s in arr)
            {
                if (s.Equals(arr[idx]))
                {
                    count++;
                }
            }

            if (count > 1)
            {
                arr.Remove(val);
                GetDistinctArrayList(arr, idx);
            }
            else
            {
                idx += 1;
                GetDistinctArrayList(arr, idx);
            }
        }

~ Answered on 2010-04-15 09:31:27


5

Simple solution:

using System.Linq;
...

public static int[] Distinct(int[] handles)
{
    return handles.ToList().Distinct().ToArray();
}

~ Answered on 2015-03-12 21:21:17


5

Maybe hashset which do not store duplicate elements and silently ignore requests to add duplicates.

static void Main()
{
    string textWithDuplicates = "aaabbcccggg";     

    Console.WriteLine(textWithDuplicates.Count());  
    var letters = new HashSet<char>(textWithDuplicates);
    Console.WriteLine(letters.Count());

    foreach (char c in letters) Console.Write(c);
    Console.WriteLine("");

    int[] array = new int[] { 12, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 };

    Console.WriteLine(array.Count());
    var distinctArray = new HashSet<int>(array);
    Console.WriteLine(distinctArray.Count());

    foreach (int i in distinctArray) Console.Write(i + ",");
}

~ Answered on 2012-12-21 20:33:57


4

Tested the below & it works. What's cool is that it does a culture sensitive search too

class RemoveDuplicatesInString
{
    public static String RemoveDups(String origString)
    {
        String outString = null;
        int readIndex = 0;
        CompareInfo ci = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.CompareInfo;


        if(String.IsNullOrEmpty(origString))
        {
            return outString;
        }

        foreach (var ch in origString)
        {
            if (readIndex == 0)
            {
                outString = String.Concat(ch);
                readIndex++;
                continue;
            }

            if (ci.IndexOf(origString, ch.ToString().ToLower(), 0, readIndex) == -1)
            {
                //Unique char as this char wasn't found earlier.
                outString = String.Concat(outString, ch);                   
            }

            readIndex++;

        }


        return outString;
    }


    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        String inputString = "aAbcefc";
        String outputString;

        outputString = RemoveDups(inputString);

        Console.WriteLine(outputString);
    }

}

--AptSenSDET

~ Answered on 2013-06-15 07:18:39


4

This code 100% remove duplicate values from an array[as I used a[i]].....You can convert it in any OO language..... :)

for(int i=0;i<size;i++)
{
    for(int j=i+1;j<size;j++)
    {
        if(a[i] == a[j])
        {
            for(int k=j;k<size;k++)
            {
                 a[k]=a[k+1];
            }
            j--;
            size--;
        }
    }

}

~ Answered on 2014-07-05 14:14:47


4

NOTE : NOT tested!

string[] test(string[] myStringArray)
{
    List<String> myStringList = new List<string>();
    foreach (string s in myStringArray)
    {
        if (!myStringList.Contains(s))
        {
            myStringList.Add(s);
        }
    }
    return myStringList.ToString();
}

Might do what you need...

EDIT Argh!!! beaten to it by rob by under a minute!

~ Answered on 2008-08-13 13:09:23


2

Generic Extension method :

public static IEnumerable<TSource> Distinct<TSource>(this IEnumerable<TSource> source, IEqualityComparer<TSource> comparer)
{
    if (source == null)
        throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(source));

    HashSet<TSource> set = new HashSet<TSource>(comparer);
    foreach (TSource item in source)
    {
        if (set.Add(item))
        {
            yield return item;
        }
    }
}

~ Answered on 2018-10-13 04:32:53


1

int size = a.Length;
        for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
        {
            for (int j = i + 1; j < size; j++)
            {
                if (a[i] == a[j])
                {
                    for (int k = j; k < size; k++)
                    {
                        if (k != size - 1)
                        {
                            int temp = a[k];
                            a[k] = a[k + 1];
                            a[k + 1] = temp;

                        }
                    }
                    j--;
                    size--;
                }
            }
        }

~ Answered on 2020-06-06 23:58:18


1

Below is an simple logic in java you traverse elements of array twice and if you see any same element you assign zero to it plus you don't touch the index of element you are comparing.

import java.util.*;
class removeDuplicate{
int [] y ;

public removeDuplicate(int[] array){
    y=array;

    for(int b=0;b<y.length;b++){
        int temp = y[b];
        for(int v=0;v<y.length;v++){
            if( b!=v && temp==y[v]){
                y[v]=0;
            }
        }
    }
}

~ Answered on 2016-10-05 08:14:13


1

you can using This code when work with an ArrayList

ArrayList arrayList;
//Add some Members :)
arrayList.Add("ali");
arrayList.Add("hadi");
arrayList.Add("ali");

//Remove duplicates from array
  for (int i = 0; i < arrayList.Count; i++)
    {
       for (int j = i + 1; j < arrayList.Count ; j++)
           if (arrayList[i].ToString() == arrayList[j].ToString())
                 arrayList.Remove(arrayList[j]);

~ Answered on 2015-04-12 09:12:09


1

public static int RemoveDuplicates(ref int[] array)
{
    int size = array.Length;

    // if 0 or 1, return 0 or 1:
    if (size  < 2) {
        return size;
    }

    int current = 0;
    for (int candidate = 1; candidate < size; ++candidate) {
        if (array[current] != array[candidate]) {
            array[++current] = array[candidate];
        }
    }

    // index to count conversion:
    return ++current;
}

~ Answered on 2016-02-02 05:21:18


0

Find answer below.

class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        var nums = new int[] { 1, 4, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9 };
        var result = removeDuplicates(nums);
        foreach (var item in result)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item);
        }
    }
    static int[] removeDuplicates(int[] nums)
    {
        nums = nums.ToList().OrderBy(c => c).ToArray();
        int j = 1;
        int i = 0;
        int stop = 0;
        while (j < nums.Length)
        {
            if (nums[i] != nums[j])
            {
                nums[i + 1] = nums[j];
                stop = i + 2;
                i++;
            }
            j++;
        }
        nums = nums.Take(stop).ToArray();
        return nums;
    }
}

Just a bit of contribution based on a test i just solved, maybe helpful and open to improvement by other top contributors here. Here are the things i did:

  1. I used OrderBy which allows me order or sort the items from smallest to the highest using LINQ
  2. I then convert it to back to an array and then re-assign it back to the primary datasource
  3. So i then initialize j which is my right hand side of the array to be 1 and i which is my left hand side of the array to be 0, i also initialize where i would i to stop to be 0.
  4. I used a while loop to increment through the array by going from one position to the other left to right, for each increment the stop position is the current value of i + 2 which i will use later to truncate the duplicates from the array.
  5. I then increment by moving from left to right from the if statement and from right to right outside of the if statement until i iterate through the entire values of the array.
  6. I then pick from the first element to the stop position which becomes the last i index plus 2. that way i am able to remove all the duplicate items from the int array. which is then reassigned.

~ Answered on 2020-10-25 00:10:43


0

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;


namespace Rextester
{
    public class Program
    {
        public static void Main(string[] args)
        {
             List<int> listofint1 = new List<int> { 4, 8, 4, 1, 1, 4, 8 };
           List<int> updatedlist= removeduplicate(listofint1);
            foreach(int num in updatedlist)
               Console.WriteLine(num);
        }


        public static List<int> removeduplicate(List<int> listofint)
         {
             List<int> listofintwithoutduplicate= new List<int>();


              foreach(var num in listofint)
                 {
                  if(!listofintwithoutduplicate.Any(p=>p==num))
                        {
                          listofintwithoutduplicate.Add(num);
                        }
                  }
             return listofintwithoutduplicate;
         }
    }



}

~ Answered on 2019-04-25 17:28:08


0

The best way? Hard to say, the HashSet approach looks fast, but (depending on the data) using a sort algorithm (CountSort ?) can be much faster.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        Random r = new Random(0); int[] a, b = new int[1000000];
        for (int i = b.Length - 1; i >= 0; i--) b[i] = r.Next(b.Length);
        a = new int[b.Length]; Array.Copy(b, a, b.Length);
        a = dedup0(a); Console.WriteLine(a.Length);
        a = new int[b.Length]; Array.Copy(b, a, b.Length);
        var w = System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch.StartNew();
        a = dedup0(a); Console.WriteLine(w.Elapsed); Console.Read();
    }

    static int[] dedup0(int[] a)  // 48 ms  
    {
        return new HashSet<int>(a).ToArray();
    }

    static int[] dedup1(int[] a)  // 68 ms
    {
        Array.Sort(a); int i = 0, j = 1, k = a.Length; if (k < 2) return a;
        while (j < k) if (a[i] == a[j]) j++; else a[++i] = a[j++];
        Array.Resize(ref a, i + 1); return a;
    }

    static int[] dedup2(int[] a)  //  8 ms
    {
        var b = new byte[a.Length]; int c = 0;
        for (int i = 0; i < a.Length; i++) 
            if (b[a[i]] == 0) { b[a[i]] = 1; c++; }
        a = new int[c];
        for (int j = 0, i = 0; i < b.Length; i++) if (b[i] > 0) a[j++] = i;
        return a;
    }
}

Almost branch free. How? Debug mode, Step Into (F11) with a small array: {1,3,1,1,0}

    static int[] dedupf(int[] a)  //  4 ms
    {
        if (a.Length < 2) return a;
        var b = new byte[a.Length]; int c = 0, bi, ai, i, j;
        for (i = 0; i < a.Length; i++)
        { ai = a[i]; bi = 1 ^ b[ai]; b[ai] |= (byte)bi; c += bi; }
        a = new int[c]; i = 0; while (b[i] == 0) i++; a[0] = i++;
        for (j = 0; i < b.Length; i++) a[j += bi = b[i]] += bi * i; return a;
    }

A solution with two nested loops might take some time, especially for larger arrays.

    static int[] dedup(int[] a)
    {
        int i, j, k = a.Length - 1;
        for (i = 0; i < k; i++)
            for (j = i + 1; j <= k; j++) if (a[i] == a[j]) a[j--] = a[k--];
        Array.Resize(ref a, k + 1); return a;
    }

~ Answered on 2020-05-24 08:57:45


0

strINvalues = "1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4";
strINvalues = string.Join(",", strINvalues .Split(',').Distinct().ToArray());
Debug.Writeline(strINvalues);

Kkk Not sure if this is witchcraft or just beautiful code

1 strINvalues .Split(',').Distinct().ToArray()

2 string.Join(",", XXX);

1 Splitting the array and using Distinct [LINQ] to remove duplicates 2 Joining it back without the duplicates.

Sorry I never read the text on StackOverFlow just the code. it make more sense than the text ;)

~ Answered on 2019-10-03 16:23:56


0

Removing duplicate and ignore case sensitive using Distinct & StringComparer.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase

string[] array = new string[] { "A", "a", "b", "B", "a", "C", "c", "C", "A", "1" };
var r = array.Distinct(StringComparer.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase).ToList();
Console.WriteLine(r.Count); // return 4 items

~ Answered on 2020-07-30 04:47:24


0

  private static string[] distinct(string[] inputArray)
        {
            bool alreadyExists;
            string[] outputArray = new string[] {};

            for (int i = 0; i < inputArray.Length; i++)
            {
                alreadyExists = false;
                for (int j = 0; j < outputArray.Length; j++)
                {
                    if (inputArray[i] == outputArray[j])
                        alreadyExists = true;
                }
                        if (alreadyExists==false)
                        {
                            Array.Resize<string>(ref outputArray, outputArray.Length + 1);
                            outputArray[outputArray.Length-1] = inputArray[i];
                        }
            }
            return outputArray;
        }

~ Answered on 2017-11-30 08:03:58


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