The filter function allows us to filter out elements of a list that don't match a given criteria.

It takes two inputs:

  1. A predicate function, i.e. a function that returns a boolean, and
  2. A list of elements to filter according to the predicate.

It returns a subset of the original list, consisting of only those elements for which the predicate returned true.

filter : (X -> boolean), (listof X) -> (listof X)


Suppose we have the following list of numbers:

(list 1 2 4 5)

and we want to get all the odd numbers from this list. In other words, we want to filter the list to keep the odd numbers.

We know that the odd? predicate tells us whether a single number is odd. We can scale this function using filter on a list of numbers, to give us only the odd elements of the list.

(filter odd? (list 1 2 4 5))
; (list 1 5)
Item Current Step Result So Far
1 (odd? 1) = true (list 1)
2 (odd? 2) = false (list 1)
4 (odd? 4) = false (list 1)
5 (odd? 5) = true (list 1 5)

Here are more examples from recitation. This file is best viewed in DrRacket, but if you don't have it installed there is an online copy viewable here.

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