EqualityComparer(Of T) Class

 

Provides a base class for implementations of the IEqualityComparer(Of T) generic interface.

Namespace:   System.Collections.Generic
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

System.Object
  System.Collections.Generic.EqualityComparer(Of T)

<SerializableAttribute>
Public MustInherit Class EqualityComparer(Of T)
	Implements IEqualityComparer, IEqualityComparer(Of T)

Type Parameters

T

The type of objects to compare.

NameDescription
System_CAPS_protmethodEqualityComparer(Of T)()

Initializes a new instance of the EqualityComparer(Of T) class.

NameDescription
System_CAPS_pubpropertySystem_CAPS_staticDefault

Returns a default equality comparer for the type specified by the generic argument.

NameDescription
System_CAPS_pubmethodEquals(T, T)

When overridden in a derived class, determines whether two objects of type T are equal.

System_CAPS_pubmethodEquals(Object)

Determines whether the specified object is equal to the current object.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_protmethodFinalize()

Allows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetHashCode()

Serves as the default hash function. (Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetHashCode(T)

When overridden in a derived class, serves as a hash function for the specified object for hashing algorithms and data structures, such as a hash table.

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetType()

Gets the Type of the current instance.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_protmethodMemberwiseClone()

Creates a shallow copy of the current Object.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodToString()

Returns a string that represents the current object.(Inherited from Object.)

NameDescription
System_CAPS_pubinterfaceSystem_CAPS_privmethodIEqualityComparer.Equals(Object, Object)

Determines whether the specified objects are equal.

System_CAPS_pubinterfaceSystem_CAPS_privmethodIEqualityComparer.GetHashCode(Object)

Returns a hash code for the specified object.

Derive from this class to provide a custom implementation of the IEqualityComparer(Of T) generic interface for use with collection classes such as the Dictionary(Of TKey, TValue) generic class, or with methods such as List(Of T).Sort.

The Default property checks whether type T implements the System.IEquatable(Of T) generic interface and, if so, returns an EqualityComparer(Of T) that invokes the implementation of the IEquatable(Of T).Equals method. Otherwise, it returns an EqualityComparer(Of T), as provided by T.

We recommend that you derive from the EqualityComparer(Of T) class instead of implementing the IEqualityComparer(Of T) interface, because the EqualityComparer(Of T) class tests for equality using the IEquatable(Of T).Equals method instead of the Object.Equals method. This is consistent with the Contains, IndexOf, LastIndexOf, and Remove methods of the Dictionary(Of TKey, TValue) class and other generic collections.

The following example creates a dictionary collection of objects of type Box with an equality comparer. Two boxes are considered equal if their dimensions are the same. It then adds the boxes to the collection.

The dictionary is recreated with an equality comparer that defines equality in a different way: Two boxes are considered equal if their volumes are the same.

'Imports System.Collections
Imports System.Collections.Generic

Module Program
    Dim boxes As Dictionary(Of Box, [String])

    Public Sub Main(ByVal args As String())

        Dim boxDim As New BoxSameDimensions()
        boxes = New Dictionary(Of Box, String)(boxDim)

        Console.WriteLine("Boxes equality by dimensions:")
        Dim redBox As New Box(8, 4, 8)
        Dim greenBox As New Box(8, 6, 8)
        Dim blueBox As New Box(8, 4, 8)
        Dim yellowBox As New Box(8, 8, 8)
        AddBox(redBox, "red")
        AddBox(greenBox, "green")
        AddBox(blueBox, "blue")
        AddBox(yellowBox, "yellow")

        Console.WriteLine()
        Console.WriteLine("Boxes equality by volume:")

        Dim boxVolume As New BoxSameVolume()
        boxes = New Dictionary(Of Box, String)(boxVolume)
        Dim pinkBox As New Box(8, 4, 8)
        Dim orangeBox As New Box(8, 6, 8)
        Dim purpleBox As New Box(4, 8, 8)
        Dim brownBox As New Box(8, 8, 4)
        AddBox(pinkBox, "pink")
        AddBox(orangeBox, "orange")
        AddBox(purpleBox, "purple")
        AddBox(brownBox, "brown")
    End Sub

    Public Sub AddBox(ByVal bx As Box, ByVal name As String)
        Try
            boxes.Add(bx, name)
            Console.WriteLine("Added {0}, Count = {1}, HashCode = {2}", _
                              name, boxes.Count.ToString(), bx.GetHashCode())
        Catch generatedExceptionName As ArgumentException
            Console.WriteLine("A box equal to {0} is already in the collection.", name)
        End Try
    End Sub
End Module

Public Class Box
    Public Sub New(ByVal h As Integer, ByVal l As Integer, ByVal w As Integer)
        Me.Height = h
        Me.Length = l
        Me.Width = w
    End Sub

    Private _Height As Integer
    Public Property Height() As Integer
        Get
            Return _Height
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As Integer)
            _Height = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Private _Length As Integer
    Public Property Length() As Integer
        Get
            Return _Length
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As Integer)
            _Length = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Private _Width As Integer
    Public Property Width() As Integer
        Get
            Return _Width
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As Integer)
            _Width = value
        End Set
    End Property
End Class

Class BoxSameDimensions : Inherits EqualityComparer(Of Box)
    Public Overloads Overrides Function Equals(ByVal b1 As Box, _
                                      ByVal b2 As Box) As Boolean
        If b1 Is Nothing AndAlso b2 Is Nothing Then
           Return True
        Else If b1 Is Nothing OrElse b2 Is Nothing Then
           Return False
        End If

        If b1.Height = b2.Height AndAlso b1.Length = b2.Length _
                                 AndAlso b1.Width = b2.Width Then
            Return True
        Else
            Return False
        End If
    End Function

    Public Overloads Overrides Function GetHashCode(ByVal bx As Box) As Integer
        Dim hCode As Integer = bx.Height Xor bx.Length Xor bx.Width
        Return hCode.GetHashCode()
    End Function
End Class

Class BoxSameVolume : Inherits EqualityComparer(Of Box)
    Public Overloads Overrides Function Equals(ByVal b1 As Box, _
                                          ByVal b2 As Box) As Boolean
        If b1 Is Nothing AndAlso b2 Is Nothing Then
           Return True
        Else If b1 Is Nothing OrElse b2 Is Nothing Then
           Return False
        End If

        If b1.Height * b1.Width * b1.Length = _
                                b2.Height * b2.Width * b2.Length Then
            Return True
        Else
            Return False
        End If
    End Function

    Public Overloads Overrides Function GetHashCode(ByVal bx As Box) As Integer
        Dim hCode As Integer = bx.Height * bx.Length * bx.Width
        Return hCode.GetHashCode()
    End Function
End Class
' This example produces the following output:
' * 
'    Boxes equality by dimensions:
'    Added red, Count = 1, HashCode = 46104728
'    Added green, Count = 2, HashCode = 12289376
'    A box equal to blue is already in the collection.
'    Added yellow, Count = 3, HashCode = 43495525
'
'    Boxes equality by volume:
'    Added pink, Count = 1, HashCode = 55915408
'    Added orange, Count = 2, HashCode = 33476626
'    A box equal to purple is already in the collection.
'    A box equal to brown is already in the collection.
' * 
' 

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 8
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1

Any public static ( Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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