# F.12. intarray

The intarray module provides a number of useful functions and operators for manipulating one-dimensional arrays of integers. There is also support for indexed searches using some of the operators.

## F.12.1. intarray Functions and Operators

Table F-7. intarray Functions

FunctionReturn TypeDescriptionExampleResult
`icount(int[])`intnumber of elements in arrayicount('{1,2,3}'::int[])3
`sort(int[], text dir)`int[]sort array — dir must be asc or descsort('{1,2,3}'::int[], 'desc'){3,2,1}
`sort(int[])`int[]sort in ascending ordersort(array[11,77,44]){11,44,77}
`sort_asc(int[])`int[]sort in ascending order
`sort_desc(int[])`int[]sort in descending order
`uniq(int[])`int[]remove adjacent duplicatesuniq(sort('{1,2,3,2,1}'::int[])){1,2,3}
`idx(int[], int item)`intindex of first element matching item (0 if none)idx(array[11,22,33,22,11], 22)2
`subarray(int[], int start, int len)`int[]portion of array starting at position start, len elementssubarray('{1,2,3,2,1}'::int[], 2, 3){2,3,2}
`subarray(int[], int start)`int[]portion of array starting at position startsubarray('{1,2,3,2,1}'::int[], 2){2,3,2,1}
`intset(int)`int[]make single-element arrayintset(42){42}

Table F-8. intarray Operators

OperatorReturnsDescription
int[] && int[]booleanoverlap — true if arrays have at least one common element
int[] @> int[]booleancontains — true if left array contains right array
int[] <@ int[]booleancontained — true if left array is contained in right array
# int[]intnumber of elements in array
int[] # intintindex (same as `idx` function)
int[] + intint[]push element onto array (add it to end of array)
int[] + int[] int[]array concatenation (right array added to the end of left one)
int[] - intint[]remove entries matching right argument from array
int[] - int[]int[]remove elements of right array from left
int[] | intint[]union of arguments
int[] | int[]int[]union of arrays
int[] & int[]int[]intersection of arrays
int[] @@ query_intbooleantrue if array satisfies query (see below)
query_int ~~ int[]booleantrue if array satisfies query (commutator of @@)

(Before PostgreSQL 8.2, the containment operators @> and <@ were respectively called @ and ~. These names are still available, but are deprecated and will eventually be retired. Notice that the old names are reversed from the convention formerly followed by the core geometric datatypes!)

The @@ and ~~ operators test whether an array satisfies a query, which is expressed as a value of a specialized data type query_int. A query consists of integer values that are checked against the elements of the array, possibly combined using the operators & (AND), | (OR), and ! (NOT). Parentheses can be used as needed. For example, the query 1&(2|3) matches arrays that contain 1 and also contain either 2 or 3.

## F.12.2. Index Support

intarray provides index support for the &&, @>, <@, and @@ operators, as well as regular array equality. The implementation uses an RD-tree data structure with built-in lossy compression.

Two GiST index operator classes are provided: gist__int_ops (used by default) is suitable for small and medium-size arrays, while gist__intbig_ops uses a larger signature and is more suitable for indexing large arrays.

There is also a non-default GIN operator class gin__int_ops.

The choice between GiST and GIN indexing depends on the relative performance characteristics of GiST and GIN, which are discussed elsewhere. As a rule of thumb, a GIN index is faster to search than a GiST index, but slower to build or update; so GIN is better suited for static data and GiST for often-updated data.

## F.12.3. Example

```-- a message can be in one or more "sections"
CREATE TABLE message (mid INT PRIMARY KEY, sections INT[], ...);

-- create specialized index
CREATE INDEX message_rdtree_idx ON message USING GIST (sections gist__int_ops);

-- select messages in section 1 OR 2 - OVERLAP operator
SELECT message.mid FROM message WHERE message.sections && '{1,2}';

-- select messages in sections 1 AND 2 - CONTAINS operator
SELECT message.mid FROM message WHERE message.sections @> '{1,2}';

-- the same, using QUERY operator
SELECT message.mid FROM message WHERE message.sections @@ '1&2'::query_int;
```

## F.12.4. Benchmark

The source directory contrib/intarray/bench contains a benchmark test suite. To run:

```   cd .../bench
createdb TEST
psql TEST < ../_int.sql
./create_test.pl | psql TEST
./bench.pl
```

The bench.pl script has numerous options, which are displayed when it is run without any arguments.

## F.12.5. Authors

All work was done by Teodor Sigaev () and Oleg Bartunov (). See http://www.sai.msu.su/~megera/postgres/gist for additional information. Andrey Oktyabrski did a great work on adding new functions and operations.