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Guava ImmutableCollections, Multimaps and Java 8 Collectors

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Guava ImmutableCollections, Multimaps and Java 8 Collectors

How to create custome collector interface instances to collect the results of stream operations in Java 8.

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In this post we are going to discuss creating custom Collector instances. The Collector interface was introduced in the java.util.stream package when Java 8 was released. A Collector is used to “collect” the results of stream operations. Results are collected from a stream when the terminal operation Stream.collect method is called. While there are default implementations available, there are times we’ll want to use some sort of custom container. Our goal today will be to create Collector instances that produce Guava ImmutableCollections and Multimaps.

Background Collector Information

The Collector interface is described very well in the documentation, so here we’ll just give a brief overview. The Collector interface defines 3 type parameters and 4 methods:

public interface Collector<T, A, R> {
    Supplier<A> supplier();
    BiConsumer<A,T> accumulator();
    BinaryOperator<T> combiner();
    Function<A,R> finisher();
    Set<Collector.Characteristics>  characteristics();
}
  1. The supplier function returns a new instance of a mutable accumulator of type A.
  2. The accumulator function takes the accumator and an instance of type T that will result in T being added to the accumulator.
  3. The combiner function takes two instances of the accumulator and merges them into one. The merging could be a new instance or the result of folding one of the accumulators into the other.
  4. The finisher function performs a final operation on the accumulator (possibly merged accumulators) into the final type R. The final type could also be the same type as the accumulator.
  5. The characteristics function returns a set of Collector.Characteristics that contain the properties for the collector. The characteristic values areCONCURRENT, UNOREDRED and IDENTITY_FINISH.

Addtionally there 2 static methods Collector.of. The Collector.of methods return a new collector based on the provided supplier,accumulator, combinbiner and (optionall) finisher definitions. Since we’re here to create custom Collector instances, we won’t be covering this functionality. For the first example we’ll use a Guava ImmutableList as a collector.

Guava ImmutableList Collector Example

Our first step is to create an abstract class that defines the accumulator, combiner and finisher operations. We’re using an abstract class because Guava offers several different immutable collections, so we’ll need to provide a different supplier for each one.

private static abstract class ImmutableCollector<T, A extends ImmutableCollection.Builder, R extends ImmutableCollection<T>> implements Collector {

    @Override
    public BiConsumer<A, T> accumulator() {
        return (c, v) -> c.add(v);
    }

    @Override
    public BinaryOperator<A> combiner() {
        return (c1, c2) -> (A) c1.addAll(c2.build().iterator());
    }

    @Override
    public Function<A, R> finisher() {
        return (bl -> (R) bl.build());
    }

    @Override
    public Set<Characteristics> characteristics() {
        return Sets.newHashSet(Characteristics.CONCURRENT);
    }

}

Now that we have our collector functionality defined, we’ll provide different implementations of our base class to provide suppliers for different types of immutable collectors:

private static class ImmutableSetCollector<T> extends ImmutableCollector {
  @Override
  public Supplier<ImmutableSet.Builder<T>> supplier() {
        return ImmutableSet::builder;
  }

 @Override
 public Set<Characteristics> characteristics() {
    return Sets.newHashSet(Characteristics.CONCURRENT, Characteristics.UNORDERED);
    }
 }

 private static class ImmutableSortedSetCollector<T extends Comparable<?>> extends ImmutableCollector {
    @Override
    public Supplier<ImmutableSortedSet.Builder<T>> supplier() {
        return ImmutableSortedSet::naturalOrder;
    }
  }

 private static class ImmutableListCollector<T> extends ImmutableCollector {
    @Override
    public Supplier<ImmutableList.Builder<T>> supplier() {
            return ImmutableList::builder;
    }
 }

You will notice here that in the ImmutableSetCollector implementation we have overridden the characteristics of our ImmutableSet collector to mark it as concurrent (accumulator function can be called from multiple threads) and unordered (elements won’t be maintained in insertion order). Finally we wrap all this up a the ImmutableCollectors class and provdide static methods to easily create our collectors:

public class ImmutableCollectors {

   public static <E> ImmutableListCollector<E> ofList() {
       return new ImmutableListCollector<>();
   }

   public static <E> ImmutableSetCollector<E> ofSet() {
        return new ImmutableSetCollector<>();
   }

   public static <E extends Comparable<?>> ImmutableSortedSetCollector<E> ofSortedSet(){
        return new ImmutableSortedSetCollector<>();
   }
   //Other functionality previously shown left out here for clarity
}

Here’s an example of using the ImmutableListCollector in a unit test:

@Test
public void testCollectImmutableList(){
 List<String> things = Lists.newArrayList("Apple", "Ajax", "Anna", "banana", "cat", "foo", "dog", "cat");

  List<String> aWords = things.stream().filter(w -> w.startsWith("A")).collect(ImmutableCollectors.ofList());
  assertThat(aWords.contains("Apple"),is(true));
  assertThat(aWords instanceof ImmutableList,is(true));

  assertThat(aWords.size(),is(3));
  boolean unableToModifyList = false;
  try{
        aWords.add("Bad Move");
  }catch (UnsupportedOperationException e){
            unableToModifyList = true;
  }
    assertTrue("Should not be able to modify list",unableToModifyList);
  }

Guava Multimaps as Collectors

After working with Guava collections I have come to find the Multimap a very handy abstraction to partition data when you have more than one value for a given key. So it would be nice a collector to partition the results of our Stream operations into Guava Multimaps. We are going to follow the same pattern we used with the ImmutableCollectors class. There is an abstract base class providing the accumulator, combining and finishing functions. Then different implementations of that abstract class to provide a supplier for the different flavors of Guava Mulitmaps. With that in mind let’s look at some code examples:

private static abstract class MultimapCollector<K,T, A extends Multimap<K,T>, R extends Multimap<K,T>> implements Collector  {

  private Function<T, K> keyFunction;

  public MultimapCollector(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
        Preconditions.checkNotNull(keyFunction,"The keyFunction can't be null");
        this.keyFunction = keyFunction;
    }

    @Override
    public BiConsumer<A, T> accumulator() {
      return (map, value) -> map.put(keyFunction.apply(value),value);
    }

    @Override
    public BinaryOperator<A> combiner() {
        return (c1, c2) -> {
            c1.putAll(c2);
            return c1;
        };
    }

   @Override
   @SuppressWarnings("unchecked")
    public Function<A, R> finisher() {
        return mmap -> (R) mmap;
    }
 }

There is one small difference here though. We need to provide a function to determine the key to use when partitioning the data. The aptly named keyFunction provided at object instantiation time fills this need. Here are the implementations of the base class providing different suppliers:


 private static class ListMulitmapCollector<K,T> extends MultimapCollector {
  private ListMulitmapCollector(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
        super(keyFunction);
   }
   @Override
    public Supplier<ArrayListMultimap<K,T>> supplier() {
        return ArrayListMultimap::create;
    }
  }

 private static class HashSetMulitmapCollector<K,T> extends MultimapCollector {
    private HashSetMulitmapCollector(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
        super(keyFunction);
    }

    @Override
    public Supplier<HashMultimap<K,T>> supplier() {
        return HashMultimap::create;
    }
 }
 private static class LinkedListMulitmapCollector<K,T> extends MultimapCollector {
    private LinkedListMulitmapCollector(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
            super(keyFunction);
    }
    @Override
    public Supplier<LinkedHashMultimap<K,T>> supplier() {
        return LinkedHashMultimap::create;
    }
  }

Again we’ll up this code in a container class (MultimapCollectors) and provide static methods for creating the different collectors:

public class MultiMapCollectors {

  public static <K,T> ListMulitmapCollector<K,T> listMultimap(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
     return new ListMulitmapCollector<>(keyFunction);
  }

 public static <K,T> HashSetMulitmapCollector<K,T> setMulitmap(Function<T, K> keyFunction) {
     return new HashSetMulitmapCollector<>(keyFunction);
 }

 public static <K,T> LinkedListMulitmapCollector<K,T> linkedListMulitmap(Function<T,K> keyFunction) {
     return new LinkedListMulitmapCollector<>(keyFunction);
 }

Finally, here’s an exmample of a Multimap collector (HashSetMultimap) in action:

public class MultiMapCollectorsTest {

private List<TestObject> testObjectList;

@Before
public void setUp() {
    TestObject w1 = new TestObject("one", "stuff");
    TestObject w2 = new TestObject("one", "foo");
    TestObject w3 = new TestObject("two", "bar");
    TestObject w4 = new TestObject("two", "bar");
    testObjectList = Arrays.asList(w1, w2, w3, w4);
}

 @Test
public void testSetMultimap() throws Exception {
    HashMultimap<String, TestObject> testMap = testObjectList.stream().collect(MultiMapCollectors.setMulitmap((TestObject w) -> w.id));

    assertThat(testMap.size(),is(3));
    assertThat(testMap.get("one").size(),is(2));
    assertThat(testMap.get("two").size(),is(1));
}
   //other details left out for clarity

Conclusion

That wraps up our quick introduction to creating custom Collector instances in Java 8. Hopefully we’ve demonstrated the usefulness the Collector interface and he we could go about creating custom collectors.

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