Create Empty Data Frame in R (2 Examples)
In this article, I’ll explain how to create an empty data frame in the R programming language.
I will show you two programming alternatives for the creation of an empty data frame. More precisely, the tutorial will contain the following topics:
- Alternative 1: Initialize Empty Vectors in data.frame Function
- Alternative 2: Create Matrix with Zero Rows
- Video & Further Resources
Let’s dive in.
Alternative 1: Initialize Empty Vectors in data.frame Function
In the first example, we will create an empty data frame by specifying empty vectors within the data.frame() function. Consider the following R code:
data_1 <- data.frame(x1 = character(), # Specify empty vectors in data.frame x2 = numeric(), x3 = factor(), stringsAsFactors = FALSE) data_1 # Print data to RStudio console
Figure 1: RStudio Console Output is Showing Empty Data Frame.
As you can see based on the RStudio console output, we created an empty data frame containing a character column, a numeric column, and a factor column. Note that we had to specify the argument stringsAsFactors = FALSE in order to retain the character class of our character column. The names of our data frame columns are x1, x2, and x3.
That’s basically it. However, I want to show you another programming alternative in the next example. So keep on reading…
Alternative 2: Create Matrix with Zero Rows
In the second example, we’ll combine three functions in one line of R code: The matrix function, the data.frame function, and the setNames function. Let’s do this:
# Create empty data.frame with matrix & setNames functions data_2 <- setNames(data.frame(matrix(ncol = 3, nrow = 0)), c("x1", "x2", "x3"))
As you can see based on the previous R syntax, we are nesting the three functions into each other:
- First, we are creating a matrix with zero rows.
- Then, we are converting this matrix to data.frame class.
- And finally, we set the names of our empty data frame with the setNames command.
Note that this R code creates columns with the integer class. You might therefore have to specify the data classes accordingly.
Video & Further Resources
On my YouTube channel, I have published a video which contains the two programming examples of this tutorial. You can watch it below:
In addition, you might have a look at the other R tutorials of my homepage. You can find some interesting tutorials below:
I hope this tutorial showed how to create a blank and empty data frame in the R programming language. However, let me know in the comments in case you have any further questions. Furthermore, don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter to get access to more R tutorials.