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Timothy
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Vectorized Search of substrings in Cell Array

Asked by Timothy
on 18 Feb 2019
Latest activity Commented on by Stephen Cobeldick on 20 Feb 2019
I have a cell array of strings and I want to match substrings to produce a boolean vector to then extract the elements of interest.
I want strfind to behave like strcmp.
t = {'abcde','bcde','abc','ac'};
i = strcmp(t,'bcde')
0 1 0 0
for example - for 'bc', I want:
1 1 1 0
but using strfind, I get :
i = strfind(t,'bc')
[2] [1] [2] []
then:
~isempty(i)
1
or:
i==[]
but this returns: 'Undefined function 'eq' for input arguments of type 'cell'.'
I think cellfun() with strfind() and isempty() might work but I'm confused how to use it.
v= cellfun(@(x) strfind(t,'bc'), t, 'UniformOutput', false)
v =
{1x4 cell} {1x4 cell} {1x4 cell} {1x4 cell}
v{1}
ans =
[2] [1] [2] []
I want boolean array: [1 1 1 0]

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3 Answers

Answer by Stephen Cobeldick on 18 Feb 2019
 Accepted Answer

>> t = {'abcde','bcde','abc','ac'};
>> ~cellfun(@isempty,strfind(t,'bc'))
ans =
1 1 1 0

  1 Comment

Works brilliantly - Thanks much!

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Answer by the cyclist
on 18 Feb 2019

Here is one way:
cellfun(@(x)not(isempty(x)),strfind(t,'bc'))

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Answer by the cyclist
on 19 Feb 2019

Discovered a much cleaner way:
contains(t,'bc');

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Note: requires R2016b or later.

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