SCJP Java Programming Exam Cram Notes : java.util Package.

Interface Description
Collection A basic interface that defines the operations that all the classes that maintain collections of objects typically implement.
Set Extends Collection, sets that maintain unique elements. Set interface is defined in terms of the equals operation
SortedSet Extends Set, maintain the elements in a sorted order
List Extends Collection, maintain elements in a sequential order, duplicates allowed.
Map A basic interface that defines operations that classes that represent mappings of keys to values typically implement
SortedMap Extends Map for maps that maintain their mappings in key order.

Classes that implement the interfaces use different storage mechanisms.

1. Arrays : Indexed access is faster. Makes insertion, deletion and growing the store more difficult.

2. Linked List : Supports insertion, deletion and growing the store. But indexed access is slower.

3. Tree : Supports insertion, deletion and growing the store. Indexed access is slower. But searching is faster.

4. Hashing : Supports insertion, deletion and growing the store. Indexed access is slower. But searching is faster. However, requires the use of unique keys for storing data elements.

Data Structures used to implement Interfaces
Set SortedSet List Map SortedMap
Hash Table HashSet
(Nulls OK)
    HashMap (Nulls OK)
HashTable (No Nulls)

Resizable Array     ArrayList (Nulls OK) Vector(Nulls OK)
Vector(Nulls OK)

Balanced Tree   TreeSet     TreeMap
Linked List     LinkedList (Nulls OK)    

Some of the operations in the collection interfaces are optional, meaning that the implementing class may choose not to provide a proper implementation of such an operation. In such a case, an UnsupportedOperationException is thrown when that operation is invoked.

Interface Methods Description

Basic Operations int size();

boolean isEmpty();

boolean contains(Object element);

boolean add(Object element);

boolean remove(Object element);
Used to query a collection about its contents, and add/remove elements.

The add() and remove() methods return true if the collection was modified as a result of the operation. The contains() method checks for membership.
Bulk Operations boolean containsAll(Collection c);

boolean addAll(Collection c);

boolean removeAll(Collection c);

boolean retainAll(Collection c);

void clear();
Perform on a collection as a single unit.

Operations are equivalent of set logic on arbitrary collections (not just sets). The addAll(), removeAll(), clear() and retainAll() methods are destructive.
Array Operations Object[] toArray();

Object[] toArray(Object a[]);
These methods combined with Arrays.asList() method provide the bridge between arrays and collections.
  Iterators Iterator iterator();

Iterator is an interface which has these methods.

boolean hasNext();

Object next();

void remove();
Returns an iterator, to iterate the collection.

The remove() method is the only recommended way to remove elements from a collection during the iteration.
Set No new methods defined. The add() method returns false, if the element is already in the Set. No exceptions are thrown.
List Element Access by Index Object get(int index);

Object set(int index, Object element);

void add(int index, Object element);

Object remove(int index);

boolean addAll(int index, Collection c);
First index is 0, last index is size()-1. An illegal index throws IndexOutOfBoundsException.
Element Search int indexOf(Object o);

int lastIndexOf(Object o);
If the element is not found, return -1.
List Iterators ListIterator listIterator();

ListIterator listIterator(int index);

ListIterator extends Iterator. It allows iteration in both directions.
ListIterator's additional methods:

boolean hasPrevious();

boolean previous();

int nextIndex();

int prviousIndex();

void set(Object o);

void add(Object o);
Open Range View List subList(int fromIndex, int toIndex); Returns a range of the list from fromIndex (inclusive) to toIndex (exclusive). Changes to view are reflected in the list and vice versa.
Map Basic Operations Object put(Object key, Object value);

Object get(Object key);

Object remove(Object key);

boolean containsKey(Object key);

boolean containsValue(Object value);

int size();

boolean isEmpty();
The put method replaces the old value, if the map previously contained a mapping for that key.

The get method returns null, if the specified key couldn't be found in the map.
Bulk Operations void putAll(Map t);

void clear();
putAll() adds all the elements from the specified map.

clear() removes all the elements from the map.
Collection Views Set keySet();

Collection values();

Set entrySet();

Note that the values () method, returns a Collection, not a set. Reason is, multiple unique keys can map to the same value.
Provide different views on a Map. Changes to views are reflected in the map and vice versa.

Each <key,value> pair is represented by an Object implementing Map.Entry interface.

Object getKey();

Object getValue();

Object setValue(Object value);
SortedSet Range View Operations SortedSet headSet(Object toElement);

SortedSet tailSet(Object fromElement);

SortedSet subSet(Object fromElement, Object toElement);
fromElement is inclusive, toElement is exclusive. The views present the elements sorted in the same order as the underlying sorted set.
Min-Max Points Object first();

Object last();
Return the first (lowest) and last (highest) elements.
Comparator Access Comparator comparator(); Returns the compartor associated with this SortedSet, or null if it uses natural ordering.
SortedMap Range View Operations SortedMap headMap(Object toKey);

SortedSet tailMap(Object fromKey);

SortedSet subMap(Object fromKey, Object toKey);
SortedMap is sorted with keys.

fromKey is inclusive, toKey is exclusive. The views present the elements sorted in the same order as the underlying sorted map.
Min-Max Points Object firstKey();

Object lastKey();
Return the first (lowest) and last (highest) keys.
Comparator Access Comparator comparator(); Returns the compartor associated with this SortedMap, or null if it uses natural ordering.

Sorting in SortedSets and SortedMaps can be implemented in two ways.

1. Objects can specify their natural order by implementing Comparable interface. Many if the standard classes in Java API, such as wrapper classes, String, Date and File implement this interface. This interface defines a single method:

  • int compareTo(Object o) - returns negative, zero, positive if the current object is less than, equal to or greater than the specified object.
  • In this case a natural comparator queries objects implementing Comparable about their natural order. Objects implementing this interface can be used:
  • As elements in a sorted set.
  • As keys in sorted map.
  • In lists which can be sorted automatically by the Collections.sort() method.

2. Objects can be sorted by specific comparators, which implement Comparator interface. This interface defines the following method:

  • int compare(Object o1, Object o2) - returns negative, zero, positive if the first object is less than, equal to or greater than the second object. It is recommended that its implementation doesn't contradict the semantics of the equals() method.
  • Specific Comparators can be specified in the constructors of SortedSets and SortedMaps.

All classes provide a constructor to create an empty collection (corresponding to the class). HashSet, HashMap, HashTable can also be specified with an initial capacity as well as a load factor (the ratio of number of elements stored to its current capacity). Most of the time, default values provide acceptable performance.

A Vector, like an array, contains items that can be accessed using an integer index. However, the size of a Vector can grow and shrink as needed to accommodate adding and removing items after the Vector has been created.

Vector (5,10) means initial capacity 5, additional allocation (capacity increment) by 10.

Stack extends Vector and implements a LIFO stack. With the usual push() and pop() methods, there is a peek() method to look at the object at the top of the stack without removing it from the stack.

Dictionary is an obsolete class. HashTable extends dictionary. Elements are stored as key-value pairs.

Vector and HashTable are the only classes that are thread-safe.

ArrayList (does what Vector does), HashMap(does what HashTable does), LinkedList and TreeMap are new classes in Java 1.2

In Java 1.2, Iterator duplicates the functionality of Enumeration. New implementations should consider Iterator.

Collections is a class, Collection is an interface.

Collections class consists exclusively of static methods that operate on or return collections.

Sorting and Searching algorithms in the Collections class.

static int binarySearch(List list, Object key)

static void fill(List list, Object o)

static void shuffle(List list, Object o)

static void sort(List list)

Factory methods to provide thread-safety and data immutability. These methods return synchronized (thread-safe) / immutable collections from the specified collections.

List safeList = Collections.synchronizedList(new LinkedList());

SortedMap fixedMap = Collections.unmodifiableSortedMap(new SortedMap());

Constants to denote immutable empty collections in the Collections class:


Collections class also has the following methods:

Method Description
public static Set singleton(Object o) Returns an immutable set containing only the specified object
public static List singletonList(Object o) Returns an immutable list containing only the specified object
public static Map singletonMap(Object key, Object value) Returns an immutable map containing only the specified key, value pair.
public static List nCopies (int n, Object o) Returns an immutable list consisting of n copies of the specified object. The newly allocated data object is tiny (it contains a single reference to the data object). This method is useful in combination with the List.addAll method to grow lists.

The class Arrays, provides useful algorithms that operate on arrays. It also provides the static asList() method, which can be used to create List views of arrays. Changes to the List view affects the array and vice versa. The List size is the array size and cannot be modified. The asList() method in the Arrays class and the toArray() method in the Collection interface provide the bridge between arrays and collections.

Set mySet = new HashSet(Arrays.asList(myArray));

String[] strArray = (String[]) mySet.toArray();

All concrete implementations of the interfaces in java.util package are inherited from abstract implementations of the interfaces. For example, HashSet extends AbstractSet, which extends AbstractCollection. LinkedList extends AbstractList, which extends AbstractCollection. These abstract implementations already provide most of the heavy machinery by implementing relevant interfaces, so that customized implementations of collections can be easily implemented using them.

BitSet class implements a vector of bits that grows as needed. Each component of the bit set has a boolean value. The bits of a BitSet are indexed by nonnegative integers. Individual indexed bits can be examined, set, or cleared. One BitSet may be used to modify the contents of another BitSet through logical AND, logical inclusive OR, and logical exclusive OR operations.

By default, all bits in the set initially have the value false. A BitSet has a size of 64, when created without specifying any size.

ConcurrentModificationException exception (extends RuntimeException) may be thrown by methods that have detected concurrent modification of a backing object when such modification is not permissible.

For example, it is not permssible for one thread to modify a Collection while another thread is iterating over it. In general, the results of the iteration are undefined under these circumstances. Some Iterator implementations (including those of all the collection implementations provided by the JDK) may choose to throw this exception if this behavior is detected. Iterators that do this are known as fail-fast iterators, as they fail quickly and cleanly, rather that risking arbitrary, non-deterministic behavior at an undetermined time in the future.

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