# Lesson 10 - Multidimensional arrays in Kotlin

In the previous exercise, Solved tasks for Kotlin lesson 9, we've practiced our knowledge from previous lessons.

Lesson highlights

Are you looking for a quick reference on multidimensional arrays in Kotlin instead of a thorough-full lesson? Here it is:

Shortened initialization of a 2D array:

```val cinema = arrayOf(
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 1, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1)
)```

Writing `1` at the position `[1][0]`:

`cinema[1][0] = 1`

Reading the value (now `1`) at the position `[1][0]`:

``````{KOTLIN_CONSOLE}

val cinema = arrayOf(
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 1, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1)
)
cinema[1][0] = 1

println(cinema[1][0])
{/KOTLIN_CONSOLE}``````

Printing the whole 2D array:

``````{KOTLIN_CONSOLE}

val cinema = arrayOf(
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 1, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 1, 1),
arrayOf(0, 0, 0, 0, 1)
)
cinema[1][0] = 1

for (array in cinema) {
for (value in array) {
print(value)
}
println()
}
{/KOTLIN_CONSOLE}``````

Declaring an empty 2D array of a given size:

`val cinema = arrayOf<Array<Int>>()`

Would you like to learn more? A complete lesson on this topic follows.

In the previous lesson, Solved tasks for Kotlin lesson 9, we learned how to use the `split()` and `joinToString()` methods. Today's Kotlin tutorial is basically a bonus when it comes to basic constructs. We'll discuss what we call multidimensional arrays.

We've already worked with a one-dimensional array which we can imagine as a row of boxes in computer memory.

(An array of eight numbers can be seen in the image)

Although it's not too common, you may sometimes encounter multidimensional arrays. Especially, when it comes to game applications.

## Two-dimensional array

A good representation of a 2-dimensional array is a grid because technically, it is one. A practical application for 2-dimensional arrays would be to use them to store the available seats in a cinema. Here's a visual representation of what I'm referring to:

*(We can see the available seats of the cinema in the picture)

Of course, a cinema would be bigger in real life, but this array is just fine as an example. `0` means the seat is available, `1` stands for one that isn't. Later, we could also add `2` for reserved seats and so on. It would be more appropriate to create our own data type (called enumerable) for these states, but we'll get into that later. For now, we'll work with numbers.

In Kotlin, we initialize a 2D array like this:

`var cinema = arrayOf<Array<Int>>()`

Actually, it's just an array of arrays. That means that each element of this array is an array too.

Above, we have successfully declared a multidimensional array but we still have to fill it with zeros. We'll use two nested loops to do it. The outer one will go through rows, the inner one will add the given number of zeros to each row. We want the array to be of size `5x5`:

```for (i in 0..4) {
var array = arrayOf<Int>()
for (j in 0..4) {
array += 0
}
cinema += array
}```

We can print our 2D array to check it out. The first loop will go through each array and the inner loop will then print their values:

```for (array in cinema) {
for (value in array) {
print("\$value ")
}
println()
}```

The output:

```0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0```

### Filling with data

Let's fill the cinema room with 1s now as you can see in the picture above. Since we'll be lazy as good programmers should be, we'll use `for` loops to create a row of 1s To access an item of a 2D array we have to enter two coordinates. If the array wasn't filled with zeros (or other values) first, this code wouldn't work.

```cinema[2][2] = 1
for (i in 1..3) {
cinema[3][i] = 1
}
for (i in 0..4) {
cinema[4][i] = 1
}```

We can print the array again to test it:

```0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 0 0
0 1 1 1 0
1 1 1 1 1```

## N-dimensional arrays

Sometimes, it may be useful to create an array of even more dimensions. We can all at least imagine a 3D array. Adding on the cinema analogy, we'll say ours has multiple floors, or generally more rooms. The visualization could then look like this:

We can create a 3D array the same way we created the 2D array:

`var cinemas = arrayOf<Array<Array<Int>>>()`

We would fill it just like before:

```for (i in 0..2) {
var cinema = arrayOf<Array<Int>>()
for (j in 0..4) {
var array = arrayOf<Int>()
for (k in 0..4) {
array += 0
}
cinema += array
}
cinemas += cinema
}```

The principle is still the same, it's just harder to comprehend

The code above creates the 3D array as you saw in the picture. We can access it through the indexers, square brackets, as before, but now we have to enter 3 coordinates.

`cinemaRooms[1][2][3] = 1 // the second-floor cinema, the third row, the fourth seat`

We could print our cinema, for example, like this:

```var floor = 1

for (cinema in cinemas) {
println("Floor: \$floor")
floor += 1
for (array in cinema) {
for (value in array) {
print("\$value ")
}
println()
}
println("-----------------")
}```

The output after assigning the number `1` in the code above:

```Floor: 1
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
-----------------
Floor: 2
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
-----------------
Floor: 3
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
-----------------```

In conclusion, I would like to add that some people who can't use objects properly, use 2D arrays to store multiple sets of data of a single entity. e.g. imagine that we want to store the length, width, and height of five cell phones. Although you may think that a 3D array would be best for the situation, it can be pulled off with an ordinary 1D array (specifically a list of objects of the `Phone` type). We'll go over all of that in the object-oriented programming course. You should also definitely give the exercises for this lesson a shot.

In the next lesson, Mathematical functions in Kotlin, we'll look at basic math functions and finish the basic constructs course.

Article has been written for you by Samuel Kodytek
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