The Power of reduce in Swift

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The reduce function in Swift is a powerful tool for iterating over a collection and aggregating the values in a way that allows you to accomplish a variety of tasks, such as summing up the values in an array, or finding the maximum or minimum value in an array.

The reduce function takes two arguments: an initial value and a closure that specifies how the aggregation should be done. The initial value is the starting point for the aggregation, and the closure takes two arguments: the current accumulated value and the next value in the collection.

For example, if you have an array of integers and you want to find the sum of all the elements in the array, you could use the reduce function like this:

let numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
let sum = numbers.reduce(0, +)
print(sum) // prints 15

In this case, the initial value is 0 and the closure is +, which is a function that takes two integers and returns their sum. The reduce function starts by setting the accumulated value to the initial value of 0. Then, it iterates over the array of numbers and applies the closure to the accumulated value and the next number in the array, updating the accumulated value after each iteration. After all the elements have been processed, the final accumulated value is returned.

Another example, we could use the reduce function to find the maximum value in an array of integers, like this:

let numbers = [3, 1, 4, 6, 2, 5]
let maxValue = numbers.reduce(numbers[0], { max($0, $1) })
print(maxValue) // prints 6

In this example, the initial value is numbers[0], which is the first element in the array, and the closure is a custom closure { max($0, $1) } that returns the maximum of two integers.

reduce function is also very useful when you want to transform an array into a different data structure, like a dictionary or a set. For example, you could use the reduce function to group the elements in an array of strings by their first letter, like this:

let words = ["apple", "banana", "cherry", "date", "elderberry"]
let groupedWords = words.reduce([:]) { (result, word) -> [Character: [String]] in
    var result = result
    let firstLetter = word.first!
    if result[firstLetter] == nil {
        result[firstLetter] = [word]
    } else {
    return result
print(groupedWords) // prints ["a": ["apple"], "b": ["banana"], "c": ["cherry"], "d": ["date"], "e": ["elderberry"]]

In this example, the initial value is [:] which is an empty dictionary, and the closure takes the current dictionary and next word and check its first letter then added to the dictionary accordingly and return the final dictionary.

The reduce function is a powerful tool for iterating over collections and aggregating values. It can be used to accomplish a wide range of tasks, from simple computations like summing up an array of numbers to more complex transformations like converting an array of values into a different data structure.

Read more on Apple Doc

✍️ Written by Ishtiak Ahmed

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