How to join matching rows of cells in a particular column order

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Marcus Glover
Marcus Glover on 20 Nov 2019
Commented: Marcus Glover on 20 Nov 2019
I have a cell array containtin strings and numbers. I'd like to combine rows that have matching key values, but I need the colums to stay in the same place. Most rows will have a single matching row- more than one match is not possible. Some cells in every row will have empty (0x0 double) values- these essentially will be overwritten by the data in the matching row column.
a={'201901' 'timeA' 123 []; ...
'201901' 'timeB' [] 22; ...
'201901' 'timeA' [] 456; ...
'201902' 'timeA' 999 []; ...
'201901' 'timeB' 11 []}
the output should be:
b={'201901' 'timeA' 123 456;...
'201901' 'timeB' 11 22; ...
'201902' 'timeA' 999 []}
Not sure if there is something like join for cells. Seem ls like unique(a(:,1:2),'rows') will not work on cells either.

Accepted Answer

Matt J
Matt J on 20 Nov 2019
Edited: Matt J on 20 Nov 2019
Not sure why you're working with cells, rather than tables, but it's easy enough to switch back and forth.
A=cell2table(a);
B=varfun(@(z){max([z{:}])}, A,'GroupingVariables',[1,2]); %EDITED
B.GroupCount=[];
b=table2cell(B)
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