Loading a cell array (string) with different lengths into a for loop

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Hi All,
I have a cell array (string), as follows:
control = {...
'folderA', 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3'... %folder 1
'folderB' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'exp5'... %folder 2
'folderC' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4'... %folder 3
};
Currently, I am analysing one folder at a time in my for loop. This is quite annoying for a number of reasons (which I won't bore you with here). I would much prefer to load the entire 'control' array and analyse folders 1 - 3 (and their contents) continuously in my for loop. After spending quite a bit of time looking for a solution online, I have come to the understanding that:
(1) I need to concatenate my cell array (bearing in mind that the dimentions must be consistent). Though I would have liked to add 'NaN' padding to make the dimensions of my cell array equal to the max length of the array in a for loop, I was unsuccessful, and opted for an easier solution - adding 'NaN' padding manually:
control = {...
'folderA', 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'NaN' 'NaN'... %folder 1
'folderB' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'exp5'... %folder 2
'folderC' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'NaN'... %folder 3
};
(2) I need to find the length of each row (not including NaN), so that I can load data correctly through my for loop:
for ii = 1:size(A)
nNaN = sum(cellfun(@(A) strcmp(A, 'NaN'), A), 2);
lengRow = length(A) - nNaN;
end
I ultimately, did find a solution for this, though I wonder if there is a "better" way of finding the lengths of each row (not including NaN)?
Putting everything together, my code looks like this:
control = {...
'folderA', 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'NaN' 'NaN'... %folder 1
'folderB' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'exp5'... %folder 2
'folderC' 'exp1', 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'NaN'... %folder 3
};
for ii = 1:size(control)
nNaN = sum(cellfun(@(control) strcmp(control, 'NaN'), control), 2);
lengRow = length(control) - nNaN;
end
dataInd = zeros(244141, 16, 50, 5, 3); %preallocate array
meanLFP = zeros(244141, 16, 50, 5, 3); %preallocate array
for anim = 1:size(control,1)
animFolder1 = [control{anim, 1} '\']; %main folder
for exp = 2:lengRow
expFolder2 = [control{anim, exp} '\']; %exp folders
load([directory animFolder1 expFolder2 ... 'tim_trl']) %load tim series
ind1 = find(tim_trl>=20, 1);
ind2 = find(tim_trl>=30, 1); %10s time frame
for trial = 1:50
load([directory animalFolder1 expFolder2... 'trial' num2str(trial)]) %load data
dataInd(:,:,trial) = data_trl(ind1:ind2,:)*1000; %10s of data
end
meanDataInd = squeeze(mean(dataInd, 3)); %now a 244141 x 16 x 5 x 3 matrix
end
end
So far, the issue that I am facing is (I am sure there is more than one, though I cannot tell at this point):
When I run the for loop, only the data from 'folderA' 'exp1' is saved (or loaded) in the preallocated arrays ('dataInd' and 'meanLFP'). I am unsure why this is, and would appreciate some insight.
I would also appreciate any pointers you may have on improving my written code.
Thank you in advace.
  4 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 13 Aug 2020
fullfile() squeezes out empty entries ?
Or perhaps
if isempty(control{anim,exp}); break; end

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Accepted Answer

hosein Javan
hosein Javan on 13 Aug 2020
you don't even have to concatenate them to one "control" cell array. I suggest create an array called folder where each element refers to each row that you mentioned, then you can easily refer to them and analyse them:
folder{1} = {'folderA' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3'};
folder{2} = {'folderB' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'exp5'};
folder{3} = {'folderC' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4'};
for i = 1:length(folder)
% analyse folder{i}
end
if you want to concatenate them however use the following:
L = cellfun(@length, folder);
maxlength = max(L)
control = cell(3,6);
control(1,1:L(1)) = folder{1};
control(2,1:L(2)) = folder{2};
control(3,1:L(3)) = folder{3}
control =
'folderA' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3' [] []
'folderB' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' 'exp5'
'folderC' 'exp1' 'exp2' 'exp3' 'exp4' []
for i = 1:size(control,1)
folder_of_interest = control(1,:);
idx_empty = cellfun(@isempty,folder_of_interest)
folder_of_interest = folder_of_interest(~idx_empty);
% analyze the folder of interest here
end
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