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I would wonder if creating a hash out of x,y,z and using that as an index would be cheaper. Creating the hash might be expensive but you'd avoid multiple lookups - depending on whether x,y,z end up being hashed themselves for the lookup?.

On Sun, May 15, 2011 at 8:51 AM, Dirk Laurie <> wrote:
On Sun, May 15, 2011 at 02:56:03PM +0200, Mason Larobina wrote:
> function inc3(t, x, y, z)
>     if not t[x] then t[x] = {} end
>     t = t[x]
>     if not t[y] then t[y] = {} end
>     t = t[y]
>     t[z] = (t[z] or 0) + 1
> end
> There might be a better way again but at least this reduces the number
> of table lookups.

If t[x][y] already exists then this code has 6 lookups; if t[x], 7;
if t only, 8; if not even t, there is an error, as there should be.

The following code reduces 6,7,8 to 4,5,6.

function inc3(t, x, y, z)
   local tx = t[x]
   if not tx then tx={}; t[x] = tx end
   local txy = tx[y]
   if not txy then txy={}; tx[y] = txy end
   local txyz = txy[z];
   if not txyz then txy[z]=1 else txy[z]=txyz+1 end