# Write a function called get_distance that accepts two character vector inputs representing the names of two cities. The function returns the distance between them as an output argument called distance. For example, the call get_distance('Seattle, WA'

18 views (last 30 days)
Abhishek singh on 17 Apr 2019
Answered: Pascal on 15 Jun 2023
function distance = get_distance(x,y)
col_labels = raw(1,:);
row_labels = raw(:,1);
try
distance = raw{contains(row_labels,y),contains(col_labels,x)};
catch
distance = -1;
end
end
error
Assessment result: incorrectNashville, TN and Las Vegas, NV
Variable distance has an incorrect value.
Assessment result: incorrectRandom city pairs
Variable distance has an incorrect value.
get_distance('Chattanooga, TN','Meads, KY') returned -1 which is incorrect.

Arafat Roney on 6 May 2020
function distance=get_distance(a,b)
row=raw(1,:);
col=raw(:,1);
for ii=2:length(row)
if strcmp(row(ii),a)
mii=ii;
break;
end
end
for jj=2:length(col)
if strcmp(col(jj),b)
njj=jj;
break;
end
end
if (strcmp(row(ii),a))&&(strcmp(col(jj),b))
distance=raw{mii,njj};
else
distance=-1;
end
end
SOUMYAJIT MONDAL on 20 Aug 2021
Okay ,
if raw(1,;) represents the first row of that cell array then row=raw(,;) should also be selecting the first row. So 'row' is not initialised as a vector ,but in the for loop 'row' is used as a vector ex. row(1) , row(2), ....
Walter Roberson on 20 Aug 2021

Mati Somp on 6 Oct 2020
one more
function distance = get_distance(A,B)
ii=0;
jj=0;
for i=2:length(data)
if string(A)==string(txt{1,i})
ii=i;
end
if (string(B)==string(txt{1,i}))
jj=i;
end
end
if (~(jj) || ~(ii))
distance=-1;
else
distance=data(ii-1,jj-1);
end
perfect
Kulko Margarita on 12 Feb 2021
I wish this code was commented. I understand the general idea, but would like to see the logic flow of whoever wrote it.

Olel Arem on 1 May 2020
Edited: Olel Arem on 1 May 2020
function distance=get_distance(city_1,city_2)
n=0;m=0;
for ii=1:size(name,2)
if (strcmp(city_1,name(ii,1)))
n=ii;
end
end
for jj=1:size(name,1)
if (strcmp(city_2,name(1,jj)))
m=jj;
end
end
if(n==0 && m==0 && n==1&&m==1)
distance =-1;
elseif (n>0&&m>0)
distance=value(n-1,m-1);
else
distance=-1;
end
Syed Zubair shah on 16 Mar 2022
if(n==0 && m==0 && n==1&&m==1)
can you explain why we use this line and kindly explain it
Rik on 16 Mar 2022
That will never be true. n can't be 0 and 1 at the same time. Why this uncommented block of code ever received an upvote is not clear to me.

Taif Ahmed BIpul on 28 May 2020
function distance=get_distance(A,B)
p=strcmp(All,A);
q=strcmp(All,B);
r=sum(p(:));
s=sum(q(:));
if ~(r==2&&s==2)
distance=-1;
return
end
a=find(p==1);
b=find(q==1);
distance=All{(a(1)),(b(1))};
Nada Hussein on 20 Jul 2020
Edited: Nada Hussein on 20 Jul 2020
Walter Roberson on 20 Jul 2020
The ==2 does not make sense to me; it would make sense to me if it were ==1 meaning that exactly one column matched.
Oh wait... the Raw (third) output has the names in the first row and in the first column. The person who wrote the above code assumes that each name will appear exactly once in the header row and once in the header column, for a total of two appearances: that is why the 2. The person also assumes that the order is exactly the same between the rows and columns.
Distance matrices should not be assumed to be symmetric. I would not recommend this version of the code.

UJJWAL Padha on 11 Jun 2020
function distance = get_distance(x,y)
k=-1;
[r c] = size(all)
for i = 1:r
for j = 1:c
if i==1 && j==1
continue;
else
if strcmp(x,all(i,1))==1 && strcmp(y,all(1,j))==1
k= all{i,j};
end
end
end
end
distance = k;
end
Sumit Naza on 1 Sep 2020
this doesn't return Distance=-1
Rik on 1 Sep 2020
It turns out you can't reliably cheat off this page, because some solutions have bugs or flaws. If that weren't the case I would probably be a lot more active in deleting answers.

Ankit singh chauhan on 29 Nov 2020
Edited: Rik on 29 Nov 2020
g=strcmp(raw,city1)
[r1,c1]=find(s==1)
[r2,c2]=find(g==2)
distance=raw{r1,r2}
catch
distance=-1
end
Rik on 29 Nov 2020
Still the same question: why did you post this? What does it teach?

Gokul surya Subramanian on 17 Apr 2019
Edited: Rik on 2 Jul 2019
function distance = get_distance(a,b)
for i=2:size(raw,1)
if strcmp(text{i,1}, a)
break
end
end
if i>=size(raw,1)
distance=-1;
else
for j=2:size(raw,2)
if strcmp(text{1,j}, b)
distance=raw{i,j};
break
end
end
if j>=size(raw,2)
distance = -1;
end
end
Jobin Geevarghese Thampi on 17 Feb 2021
this one also 'if string(A)==string(txt{1,i})' why 1?
Walter Roberson on 17 Feb 2021
For this particular homework problem, the reference data has been defined to be stored in a xlsx file that has the format
<empty> <cityname1> <cityname2> <cityname3> ...
<cityname1> distance11 distance12 distance13 ...
<cityname2> distance21 distance22 distance23 ...
where the <cityname> are text such as 'Los Vegas, Nevada' and 'Wawa, Ontario', and the distances are numeric.
When you use xlsread on the file and ask for the second output, the output will be a cell array of character vectors, with the character vectors being present where the original data had text, and being empty where the original data had numbers. So it might look something like
txt = {
[], 'LA', 'Wawa', 'Lima'
'LA' [] [] []
'Wawa' [] [] []
'Lima' [] [] []
}
When you use txt{1,i} you would therefore be accessing the [] at the beginning, or one of the city names, 'LA', 'Wawa', 'Lima' -- you would be reading out of row #1 from the txt cell array. txt{ROWNUMBER, COLUMNNUMBER} is the general form.
Using string() on a character vector converts it from being a character vector to being a scalar "string" object. So the line
if string(A)==string(txt{1,i})
converts character vector inside A to a string() object; and then extracts the content of column #i from row 1 of the cell array named txt and converts that content into a string() object. Then the line uses == between the string objects.
The reason someone would do that is that == is defined between string objects to return true of the strings have the same content, and false if the strings do not have the same content, with false being returned if they are different because they have different lengths. So string('LA') == string('Wawa') is perfectly good code that will not have a problem.
But == is not defined between character vectors in the same way, In particular, == between character vectors will fail if they both have more than one character and the lengths do not match. 'LA'=='Wawa' would fail complaining that the array dimensions do not agree (meaning that the lengths are different.) To compare character vectors taking into account they might be different lengths, use strcmp(), as in strcmp('LA', 'Wawa')

function distance = get_distance(a,b)
for i=2:size(raw,1)
if strcmp(text{i,1}, a)
break
end
end
if i>=size(raw,1)
distance=-1;
else
for j=2:size(raw,2)
if strcmp(text{1,j}, b)
distance=raw{i,j};
break
end
end
if j>=size(raw,2)
distance = -1;
end
end

Alan Chacko on 13 May 2020
function d = get_distance(c1,c2)
[r,c] = size(city);
row = city(1:end,1);
col = city(1,1:end);
ccr=sort(contains(row(2:end),c1));
ccc=sort(contains(col(2:end),c2));
if ccr'==ccc
ir = find(strcmp(row,c1));
ic = find(strcmp(col,c2));
d = city{ir,ic};
else
d=-1;
end
Jagadeesh Korukonda on 31 May 2020
this errors are coming
Walter Roberson on 31 May 2020
What happens when you use the debugger to trace the flow of your code?

Timothy Simon Thomas on 21 May 2020
function distance=get_distance(L1,L2)
i=1;j=1;
[R C]=size(n);
while(~(strcmp(L1,r(1,i))) && i<=R)
i=i+1;
end
while(~(strcmp(L2,r(j,1)))&& j<=C)
j=j+1;
end
j=j-1;i=i-1;
if(~(strcmp(L1,r(1,i+1))) || ~(strcmp(L2,r(j+1,1))))
distance=-1;
else
distance=n(i,j);
end
end

Ujjawal Barnwal on 7 Jun 2020
function distance=get_distance(c1,c2)
a=0;b=0;
for ii=2:337
if strcmp(txt{1,ii},c1)
a=ii;
elseif strcmp(txt{1,ii},c2)
b=ii;
end
end
if a && b
distance=num(a-1,b-1);
else
distance=-1;
end
Walter Roberson on 7 Jun 2020
Why 337?
Your code assumes that Distances contains data of a particular size. It also assumes that the number of rows and columns is the same. It further assumes that there is never a case where the two different cities happen to occur at the same row and column number. For example,
* apple orange grapefruit
orange 2 0 3
grapefruit 1 3 0
apple 0 2 1
Your code would fail for (say) orange, grapefruit because it assumes that when it finds orange in column 3, that it is not possible to also happen to find grapefruit in row 3.

Vishesh Haria on 7 Jun 2020
function distance=get_distance(a,b)
row=raw(1,:);
col=raw(:,1);
for ii=2:length(row)
if strcmp(row(ii),a)
mii=ii;
break;
end
end
for jj=2:length(col)
if strcmp(col(jj),b)
njj=jj;
break;
end
end
if(njj > 0 && mii > 0)
distance = raw{mii,njj};
elseif(njj == 1 && mii == 1)
distance = -1;
elseif(njj == 0 && mii == 0)
distance = -1;
else
distance=-1;
end
end
Error:
distance = get_distance('g, WA','Miagmi, FL')
Unrecognized function or variable 'njj'.
Error in get_distance (line 19)
if(njj > 0 && mii > 0)
Help me understand this error.

I think you might remove two elif condition commands and set default "mii" and "njj" as 0, then it could work.

Md Nazmus Sakib on 20 Jun 2020
function y = get_distance(city_1,city_2)
global raw;
%fetching cities in rows
r_city = {};
for i = 1:337
r_city{1,i} = raw{1,i};
end
%fetching cities in columns
c_city = {};
for j = 1:337
c_city{1,j} = raw{j,1};
end
%searching city_1
search_c1 = strcmp(c_city,city_1);
%searching row
for ii = 1:337
if (search_c1(1,ii) == 1)
break
else
ii = 1;%if the city is not found ii will give 1
end
end
%searching city_2
search_c2 = strcmp(r_city,city_2);
%searching column
for jj = 1:337
if (search_c2(1,jj) == 1)
break
else
jj = 1;%if the city is not found jj will give 1
end
end
if ((ii == 1) || (jj == 1)) % if the city is not found
y = -1;
else
y = raw{ii,jj}(1,1);
end
end
Walter Roberson on 20 Jun 2020
What will you do when the Distances.xlsx file does not have exactly 337 rows and columns ?
Md Nazmus Sakib on 21 Jun 2020
Thanks, I think I'll first measure the size or length of 'raw'.

M NAGA JAYANTH AVADHANI on 28 Jul 2020
Edited: M NAGA JAYANTH AVADHANI on 28 Jul 2020
This works perfectly.
function distance = get_distance(city1,city2)
row = raw(1,:);
col = raw(:,1);
mi =0;mj =0;
for i = 2:length(row)
if strcmp(row(i),city1)
mi = i;
end
end
for j = 2:length(col)
if strcmp(col(j),city2)
mj = j;
end
end
if mi> 1 && mj>1
distance = raw{mi,mj};
else
distance = -1;
end
end
##### 3 CommentsShow 1 older commentHide 1 older comment
Rik on 14 Aug 2020
Look through the rest of the code. Where are values for mi and mj set? Only inside if statements. Is it guaranteed that those lines are reached? What would be the consequence of those variables not being set?
thanks sir

Capulus_love on 12 Aug 2020
Edited: Capulus_love on 12 Aug 2020
function distance = get_distance(a,b)
col = excel(1,:);
row = excel(:,1);
x=size(col)
y=size(row)
col_count = 1;
row_count = 1;
for i = 2 : x(2)+1
col_count = col_count + 1;
if contains(col{i},a) == 1
break
end
end
for j = 2 : y(1)+1
row_count = row_count + 1;
if contains(row{j},b) == 1
break
end
end
if (col_count > 337) || (row_count > 337)
distance = -1
else
distance = excel{row_count,col_count}
end
end
% why Non-existent city is not solved...???
##### 3 CommentsShow 1 older commentHide 1 older comment
Rik on 12 Aug 2020
Where are you checking if a city exists in the list? What happens on each line if that happens?
Walter Roberson on 12 Aug 2020
if (col_count > 337) || (row_count > 337)
What would happen if they changed the data file to one that had (for example) 500 cities?

Yan Li on 4 Sep 2020
function distance = get_distance (ct1, ct2)
f_row = raw(1,:);
f_col = raw(:,1);
flag = false;
distance = -1;
for n=1:length(f_row)
for m=1:length(f_col)
if string(f_row(n)) == ct1 && string(f_col(m)) == ct2
flag = true
distance = raw{n,m};
end
end
end
end
Yan Li on 4 Sep 2020
THE CODE PASSED ALL TESTS, MIGHT NOT BE THE SMARTEST, BUT A WORKING ONE.
Rik on 4 Sep 2020
Surprisingly enough this works.
string({'foo'})=='foo'
Why did you decide to post this? What does it teach?
Also, why are you setting a flag, but not returning it or using it anywhere?

Ahmed Saleh on 28 Mar 2021
Edited: Ahmed Saleh on 28 Mar 2021
function distance = get_distance(city1,city2)
num1=0;
num2=0;
s=size(distances);
for i=2:s(1)
logic=strcmp(city1,distances{i,1});
if logic== true
num1=i;
break
end
end
for j=2:s(2)
logic2 = strcmp(city2,distances{1,j});
if logic2 == true
num2=j;
break
end
end
if num1==0 || num2==0
distance=-1;
return
end
distance=distances{num1,num2};
end
Rik on 29 Mar 2021
You mean that one? You can use it to attract the attention of high reputation users and site administrators to solve a particular issue (e.g. if a post should be deleted or a thread should be closed).
Also, strcmp doesn't just return 1 or 0, it returns true or false. And it doesn't always return 1 value.
To refrase Walter's second question: when is false equal to true or is true not equal to true?
Use the debugger to execute your code line by line.
Ahmed Saleh on 30 Mar 2021
ok, thank you

Abhijeet Singh on 14 May 2021
Edited: Abhijeet Singh on 14 May 2021
function distance = get_distance(x,y)
a = everything(1:size(everything,1),1);
b = everything(1,1:size(everything,2));
for j = 1:size(everything,1)
l=0;
if strcmp(a(j,1),x)
l=j;
break
end
end
for i = 1:size(everything,2)
k=0;
if strcmp( b(1,i),y)
k=i;
break
end
end
if k ~= 0 && l ~= 0
s = everything(l,k);
distance = s{1};
else
distance = -1;
end
end
##### 3 CommentsShow 1 older commentHide 1 older comment
Abhijeet Singh on 15 May 2021
@RikIt is another way to solve the given problem! And it will work even if we add few details in the xlx file.
Rik on 15 May 2021
What would you say is the key difference between your solution and the one above this one?
If you want to educate: comments are a great way to explain what your code is doing.
Also:
a = everything(1:size(everything,1),1);
b = everything(1,1:size(everything,2));
%is equivalent to this:
a = everything(:,1);
b = everything(1,:);

Silvana Castillo on 3 Jun 2021
function distance = get_distance(c1,c2);
% reads excel file in just everything
% find would give index of c1 readinf first column
a = find(strcmp(everything(1,1:end),c1))
% find would give index of c2 reading first row
% strcmp = are equals two strings inputs?
b = find(strcmp(everything(1:end,1),c2))
% if any c1 or c2 do not exist
if isempty(a) || isempty(b)
distance = -1
else
% converts from cell class to matrix or double
%the distance value based on index
distance = cell2mat(everything(a,b))
end

Milad Mehrnia on 31 Oct 2021
function distance = get_distance(a,b)
x = 0;y = 0;
for i = 2:lenghth(txt)
if strcmp(txt{1,i},a)
x = i;break; % It's better to use break, Because it reduces the running time significantly
end
end
for j = 2:height(txt) % It's better to use a seperated for function for j, Because it reduces the running time significantly too
if strcmp(txt{j,1},b)
y = j;break;
end
end
if ~x || ~y
distance = -1;
else
distance = num(x-1,y-1);
end
Rik on 1 Nov 2021
You are on the right track. I would suggest looking up the numel and size functions (as replacement for height and length, which you misspelled).
I would also suggest looking up ismember, which can further increase performance.
Milad Mehrnia on 1 Nov 2021
As we have the matrices on the memory, you are right and ismember is better than for. After your comment I tried it and the result is awesome. It brakes the time to half.
Really thank you

Zia Ur Rehman on 30 Aug 2022
Hi folks,
plz check my code and plz tell me if I can improve this.
function distance = get_distance(a,b)
[~, ~, data] = xlsread('Distances.xlsx'); %reading the file and having its full data that is by default raw data in data variable on 3rd aurgument
z = size(data); % Calculating the size as we need to traverse both first coloumn and first row
c = z(1,1); % c = no. of rows
d = z(1,2); % d = no. of coloumn
for i = 2:c % as (1,1) of file is empty so starting from 2 to the length of rows and coloumns
e = strcmp(data{1,i},a); % checking through first row and compare with a
if e == true % if we find the matching then record its index in f and stop the loop through 'break'.
f = i;
break;
end
end
for j = 2:d
k = strcmp(data{j,1},b); % checking through first coloumn and compare with b
if k == true % if we find the matching then record its index in l and stop the loop through 'break'.
l = j;
break;
end
end
if e==true && k==true % if both are true then show the distance at that index(f,l) otherwisr distance = -1
distance = data{f,l};
else
distance = -1;
end
Walter Roberson on 30 Aug 2022
ismember() is easier than looping
Zia Ur Rehman on 30 Aug 2022
ok, I will check how this builtin function works.

Pascal on 15 Jun 2023
I got this solution but the last bit of code seems rather plump, do you have suggestions to improve the code?
function [distance] = get_distance(c1,c2)
row1 = raw(1,2:end);
col1 = raw(2:end,1);
ind1 = find(ismember(row1,c1));
ind2 = find(ismember(col1,c2));
if isempty(ind1) || isempty(ind2)
distance = -1;
else
dis = raw(2:end,2:end);
d = dis(ind1,ind2);
distance = cell2mat(d);
end

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