most frequent word in cell array

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Hi, I have a cell array "P" of size 2000 by 20. Each cell value is either "Yes" or "No". How can I make a new cell array "vote" of size 2000 by 1 that each cell contains the most frequent word of each row in P?

Accepted Answer

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 25 Oct 2017
tf = ismember(lower(P), 'yes');
votes = sum(tf, 2);
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 26 Oct 2017
Right, but I had overlooked that the question asked about the most common entry -- which can be found by testing the count against width/2

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More Answers (2)

dpb on 25 Oct 2017
Edited: dpb on 25 Oct 2017
Good place to use categorical variables instead of the cellstr...
>> yn={'yes' 'no' 'Yes';'no' 'No', 'NO'}; % minimal dataset including capitaliztion differences
>> ync=categorical(lower(yn)); % convert to categorical and normalize spelling
>> cnts=countcats(ync,2) % count responses on 2nd dimension
cnts =
1 2
3 0
>> vote=cnts(:,2)>cnts(:,1); % see which is greater (Y>N --> True)
>> vote=categorical(vote,[true false],{'Yes','No'}) % convert to categorical to display
vote =
>> yn % original table to compare -- looks like right choice.
yn =
'yes' 'no' 'Yes'
'no' 'No' 'NO'
NB: The above doesn't have the extra logic to check for tie--in case that is possible will need to test for == as well and add the third category of TIE as possible output.
If TIE is possible, look at computing difference between counts and then the SIGN function will generate the tri-state variable needed.

Sarah Palfreyman
Sarah Palfreyman on 30 Apr 2018
Try tokenizing with Text Analytics Toolbox and you can easily get a histogram count.


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