Searching word list for key letters

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wordList = {'apples'
'orange'
'banana'};
ContainList = 'shu';
NotContainList = 'br';
I'd like to be able to find all words that contain the letters S,H or U and do not have the letters B or R. I'm using 'contains' for each letter but is there a way to loop through the ContainList/NotContainList for each word?

Accepted Answer

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 Jan 2022
Edited: Walter Roberson on 24 Jan 2022
wordList = {'apples'
'orange'
'banana'};
ContainList = 'shu';
NotContainList = 'br';
mask1 = contains(wordList, num2cell(ContainList))
mask1 = 3×1 logical array
1 0 0
mask2 = contains(wordList, num2cell(NotContainList))
mask2 = 3×1 logical array
0 1 1
filtered_words = wordList(mask1 & ~mask2)
filtered_words = 1×1 cell array
{'apples'}
%another approach
mask3 = ~cellfun(@isempty, regexp(wordList, "[" + ContainList + "]"))
mask3 = 3×1 logical array
1 0 0
mask4 = ~cellfun(@isempty, regexp(wordList, "[" + NotContainList + "]"))
mask4 = 3×1 logical array
0 1 1
filtered_words2 = wordList(mask3 & ~mask4)
filtered_words2 = 1×1 cell array
{'apples'}
%another approach
pattern = "^[^" + NotContainList + ContainList + "]*[" + ContainList + "][^" + NotContainList + "]*$"
pattern = "^[^brshu]*[shu][^br]*$"
mask5 = ~cellfun(@isempty, regexp(wordList, pattern))
mask5 = 3×1 logical array
1 0 0
filtered_words3 = wordList(mask5)
filtered_words3 = 1×1 cell array
{'apples'}
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 Jan 2022
In some cases you might want to work iteratively
wordList = {'apples'
'orange'
'banana'};
ContainList = 'shu';
NotContainList = 'br';
words_containing = wordList(contains(wordList, num2cell(ContainList)));
filtered_words = words_containing(~contains(wordList, num2cell(NotContainList)));
In situations where you are doing stepwise refinement, it is most efficient to start from the steps that are expected to make the most difference, each step discarding as much as practical, so that each step is searching less and less information.

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More Answers (1)

David Hill
David Hill on 24 Jan 2022
wordList = {'apples','orange','banana','show','unit'};
ContainList = 'shu';
NotContainList = 'br';
r=wordList(contains(wordList,num2cell(ContainList))&~contains(wordList,num2cell(NotContainList)));

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