In this lab, we will work with arrays.

All about Arrays

An array is a data structure. It is an ordered collection of objects or primitive data elements. You access a specific element of an array by stating the collection name followed by the specific element's index number in that collection.

Creating an Array

In Java, arrays are objects. To create an array you create an object. The syntax for creating an array object is slightly different from that used for other objects. To create an array of 5 int's called tomeu, you would type:
int[] tom = new int[5];
On the left-hand side of the assignment operator, int[] is the data type array of int and tom is the reference to (i.e., the name of) the array object. On the right-hand side of the assignment operator, the operator new is being used to create an array object containing a collection of ten (the number in square brackets) int variables.

Each element in the array has a index number associated with it. The first element is at index number 0. Each element after that is numbered sequentially, up to the last element. This means that the last element in the array has an index number of the size of the array minus 1. You can almost think of each element in an array is a variable. Because you access the "variables" of an array via an index number, there are some pretty powerful tricks you can do with arrays.

Arrays and Loops

If you wanted to set 5 int variables equal to 0, how would you do it? Something like this, probably:

  june = 0;
  tom = 0;
  may = 0;
  scarlet = 0;
  apple = 0;

This is a tedious way of doing things, and you run the risk of making a mistake. To do the same task using an array, you could do the following:

  int[] stuff = new int[5];
  for (int i = 0; i < 5; i ++) {
     stuff[i] = 0;

This is a much more effecient way of doing things. Notice that each time the loop variable is incremented, a different element of the array is set equal to zero. Using a for-loop in this manner, you can easily perform a complex task on all of the (or specific) elements of an array. The following Stack N' Heap demonstrates how to create and initialize an array of integers storing the numbers 1 - 5. For simplicity, we will show the elements of the array as existing on the stack; but, because they are contained in an object, they are actually stored on the heap.

Stack N' Heap What's This? The Stack N' Heap simulates a trace program. It shows the code being executed, the contents of the stack, and the contents of the heap. To move through the code, use the >> button. This will take you one step through the code. To go back one step, use the << button.

Primative variables are shown in the stack with their names on the left side and values on the right. Reference variables do not have any value on the right, but instead have a yellow line drawn to show which object in the heap it points to. Reference variables with a NULL value don't show anything on the right.
int[] myArray = new int[5];
for (int i = 0; i < myArray.length; i ++) {
myArray[i] = i + 1;

As you see, loops and arrays are often used together. By using a loop variable as an index into an array, you can perform tasks on a large number of variables which just a few lines of code.

Operating on Arrays
To Get Started ...

Download the jar file: ArrayOp.jar to your csci/201 directory; unjar the file (Help), create a new NetBeans project called ArrayOp, and mount the ArrayOp directory created when you unjarred the archive file (Help).

Compile and run the application class ArrayOp. Now take a look at the internal class MyClass1 of ArrayOp.

private static class MyClass1 implements SpecArrayOp
  public int TestFunc(int[] V) {
    int N = V.length ;
    return V[N/2] ;

As you see, MyClass1 consists of just oneu method TestFunc() and that TestFunc() has a single parameter, V of type int[]. TestFunc()'s purpose is to return an integer value. Right now, it returns the middle element of the array that it receives as input. (Can you see why?)

The ArrayOp class works as follows. Its main() method calls the TestArrayOperation() method of TestArrayOp with a single variable, a class which implements SpecArrayOp (?)Interfaces are explained in more detail in the Interfaces lab.. TestArrayOperation() creates a array, passes it to the TestFunc() method of its interface and then prints the result.

Your Assignment ...

You are to modify the main() method of ArrayOp so that it tests six different classes. These six classes have a TestFunc() method which implements the six array operations shown below.

Class NameTestFunc Return Value
MyClass1Adds all elements of the array and returns the total
MyClass2Returns the largest element of the array
MyClass3Returns the smallest element of the array
MyClass4Adds all the even elements of the array and returns the total
MyClass5Returns an integer average of all elements in the array
MyClass6Adds the smallest and largest elements of the array and returns their sum
Instructor Checkoff ...

When you are done, show your lab instructor the output of your program.

Modifying Arrays
To Get Started ...

Download the jar file: ArrayMod.jar to your csci/201 directory; unjar the file (Help), create a new NetBeans project called ArrayMod, and mount the ArrayMod directory created when you unjarred the archive file (Help).

Open, compile, and run the ArrayMod class. You should notice some fairly strong similarities between the ArrayOp and ArrayMod classes.

Your Assignment ...

ArrayMod has six internal classes which are supposed to modify the elements of an array. Your job is to complete those six internal classes. This table gives the details of your assigned tasks.

Class NameOperation performed in TestFunc
MyClass1Adds one to each element of the array
MyClass2Multiplies each element by three
MyClass3Sets all array elements to zero
MyClass4Sets the i'th array element to i
MyClass5Reverses the array, that is, switches the first and last elements, etc.
MyClass6Relaxes the array, that is, sets each element to the average of its two surrounding neighbors, except for the first and last elements which are left unchanged.

If the last Java class stresses you, ask your lab instructor about relaxation.

Instructor Checkoff ...

Again, when you are done, show your lab instructor the output of your program.