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Java 8 identity function – Usage of Function.identity with Examples

Java 8 identity function that Function.identity() returns a Function that always returns it’s input argument. In this article we will see various examples using Function.identity().

The identity function in math is one in which the output of the function is equal to its input. In Java, Function is a functional interface whose identity method returns a Function that always returns its input arguments.

Following code is implementation of identity method in Function interface.

static <T> Function<T, T> identity() {
        return t -> t;
    }

Function<T, T> : First parameter is type of input of function and second parameter is type of output, identity function always returns its input arguments.

Java identity function example

1. Java 8 identity function Example 1

The following example shows you how to how to create a Function using identity method, and using lambda.

public class Java8FunctionIdentityExample1 {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		Function<Integer, Integer> identityFunction = Function.identity();
		Function<Integer, Integer> intFunction = e -> e;
		
		System.out.println(identityFunction.apply(10)); // 10 
		System.out.println(intFunction.apply(10)); // 10
		
		List<String> names = Arrays.asList(
				 "Peter",
				 "Martin",
				 "John",
				 "Vijay",
				 "Arthur"
				);
		
		// Just for example
		System.out.println("----- Function.identity() -----");
		names.stream().map(Function.identity()).forEach(System.out::println);
		
		System.out.println("----- Function(e-> e) -----");
		names.stream().map(e->e).forEach(System.out::println);
	}
}

Output :

10
10
----- Function.identity() -----
Peter
Martin
John
Vijay
Arthur
----- Function(e-> e) -----
Peter
Martin
John
Vijay
Arthur

2. Function.identity() Example 2

In Example 1 we can notice Function.identity() and e -> e has given same results. Are they same? well, let’s have a look into another following example.

public class Java8FunctionIdentityExample2 {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		Function<Integer, Integer> identityFunction1 = Function.identity();
		Function<Integer, Integer> identityFunction2 = Function.identity();
		Function<Integer, Integer> identityFunction3 = Function.identity();
		
		Function<Integer, Integer> intFunction1 = e -> e;
		Function<Integer, Integer> intFunction2 = e -> e;
		Function<Integer, Integer> intFunction3 = e -> e;
		
		System.out.println(identityFunction1); 
		System.out.println(identityFunction2);
		System.out.println(identityFunction3);
		
		System.out.println(intFunction1);
		System.out.println(intFunction2);
		System.out.println(intFunction3);
		
	}	
}

Output :

java.util.function.Function$$Lambda$23/[email protected]
java.util.function.Function$$Lambda$23/[email protected]
java.util.function.Function$$Lambda$23/[email protected]
com.javabydeveloper.core8.function.Java8FunctionIdentityExample2$$Lambda$24/[email protected]
com.javabydeveloper.core8.function.Java8FunctionIdentityExample2$$Lambda$25/[email protected]
com.javabydeveloper.core8.function.Java8FunctionIdentityExample2$$Lambda$26/[email protected]

In the test results we can notice Function.identity() return same lambda instance with in the program, and e -> e lambda function return a different instance each time.

3. Function.identity() Example 3

Following example shows you, how to convert list to set using Stream, each item in set contains the duplicate count if the list has any duplicate item. If the list don’t have duplicate items Stream.map()uses Function.identity() otherwise it uses lambda function.

public class Java8FunctionIdentityExample3 {

	// Convert list to set, and if list has duplicates -> show duplicate count
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		List<String> names = Arrays.asList(
			     "Peter",
			     "Martin",
				 "John",
				// "Peter",
				 "Vijay",
				// "Martin",
				// "Peter",
				 "Arthur"
				);
		
		Set<String> namesSet = new HashSet(names);
		// names.size() != namesSet.size();// => true if duplicates
				
		names.stream()
		     .map(getFunction(names, names.size() != namesSet.size()))
		     .collect(Collectors.toSet())
		     .forEach(System.out::println);
		 
	}	
	
	static Function<String, String> getFunction(List<String> names, boolean hasDuplicates){
		// Collections.frequency(names, name) => to get duplicate count
			
		return hasDuplicates ?	
					name -> name+" ("+Collections.frequency(names, name)+")"
					: Function.identity();
	}
}

Output 1 :

Vijay
Arthur
John
Martin
Peter

Remove comments for the list items and run again the program, you will see following results.

Output 2 :

Peter (3)
Martin (2)
John (1)
Vijay (1)
Arthur (1)

Conclusion :

In this article we have seen various examples identity() method of Function interface. For more examples of Function interface methods refer to the article Java 8 Function interface.

Satish Varma
Satish Varmahttps://javabydeveloper.com
Satish is post graduated in master of computer applications and experienced software engineer with focus on Spring, JPA, REST, TDD and web development. Also founder of javabydeveloper.com. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook

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