How to Catch an integer(0) in R (2 Examples)


In this R post you’ll learn how to identify an integer of length zero.

The page contains the following topics:

So let’s just jump right in!


Example Data

Consider the exemplifying data below.

x <- which("a" == "b")             # Create integer with length zero
x                                  # Print example integer
# integer(0)

As you can see based on the previous output of the RStudio console, our example data object is an integer with a length of zero.


Example 1: Test for Length of Data Object Using length() Function

This example shows how to check for the length of a data object to identify whether an integer has a length of zero.

For this, we simply need to apply the length function to our data object:

length(x)                          # Apply length function
# [1] 0

The RStudio console returns the value 0, i.e. our data object is an integer(0) object.


Example 2: Create User-Defined Function to Test for Length of Data Object

In this example, I’ll explain how to create a user defined function that returns information on the length of a data object.

First, we have to create our function:

fun_int0 <- function(my_data) {    # Create user-defined function
  if(length(my_data) == 0 & is.integer(my_data)) {
    print("The data object is integer(0).")
# [1] "The data object is integer(0)."
  } else {
    print("The data object is NOT integer(0).")
# [1] "The data object is NOT integer(0)."

Now, we can apply our manually defined function to our example data:

fun_int0(x)                        # Apply user-defined function to integer(0)
# [1] "The data object is integer(0)."

The RStudio console shows that our data is an integer(0) object.

Let’s apply our function to a normal integer vector with longer length:

fun_int0(1:5)                      # Apply user-defined function to longer object
# [1] "The data object is NOT integer(0)."

The RStudio console shows that the vector 1:5 is not an integer(0) data object.


Video, Further Resources & Summary

Would you like to know more about integers and other data types? Then you may watch the following video of my YouTube channel. I explain the R programming codes of this article in the video tutorial:



In addition, you could read the other tutorials on this homepage.


To summarize: In this R tutorial you have learned how to catch an empty integer.

Please note that a similar syntax as shown in the present tutorial could be used to test for other vectors of length 0 such as character(0), numeric(0), or factor(0).

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.


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