# Defining a 2D vector in C++

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Reading time: 30 minutes | Coding time: 10 minutes

In this article, we have explored the different ways of defining a 2D vector in C++.

Before getting in the nitty-gritty of 2-D vectors, let us first define some working definitions of basic terms:

- Containers - These can be understood as implementation of abstract data types and as such are data structures available for use. e.g. arrays, set, map etc.
- Vectors - Vectors are containers which implement dynamic arrays or arrays which can change size according to our needs.

# A 2-D vector is a vector of vectors.

For e.g. you can define a two-dimensional vector of type T as follows:

```
std::vector<std::vector<T>> vector_name;
```

**Note**: All the examples given ahead are for type **int** but they can easily be replicated for other types such as double, char etc. just by changing int in declaration to the required type.

**Note**:You can create a 2D array by doing **int a[4][3]**, but **std::vector<int> a(4,3)** won't create a 2D vector - it will create a 4-element vector full of 3s.

# Syntax of defining 2-D vector

Initializing at the time of declaration:

```
std::vector<std::vector<int>> vect{{ 5, 6, 3 }, { 1, 2, 4 }};
```

Note: Languages like Java and C# allow for jagged arrays or 2-D arrays with variable columns in each row. In C++, we can achieve this by using 2-D vector as follows:

```
std::vector<std::vector<int>> vect{{ 5, 7, 12 }, { 8, 5 }, { 7, 8, 9, 0 }};
```

# Initializing a 2-D vector with help of 1-D vector

```
std::vector<int> va(3, 1); // vector a {1, 1, 1}
std::vector<int> vb(3, 2); // vector b {2, 2, 2}
std::vector<int> vc(3, 3); // vector c {3, 3, 3}
std::vector<std::vector<int>> vect {va, vb, vc};
```

# Initializing a 2-D vector of n rows and m columns

```
std::vector<std::vector<int>> vect( n , std::vector<int> (m));
```

**Note:** You can initialize the above vector with value k in each cell by using the following code:

```
std::vector<std::vector<int>>vect( n , std::vector<int>(m,k));
```

# Applications

The applications of 2-D vectors are same as 2-D matrices even more as it is more versatile as we can add and delete rows according to our needs. Some uses are:

- To represent images and manipulate them
- To represent any 2-D grid
- Used in programming techniques like Dynamic Programming

**Exercise Problem**

#### Write a program that takes input the no. of rows and the no. of columns in each row and outputs a 2-D vector giving output as in the following examples:

```
Input:
No. of rows = 4
No. of columns in rows = 5 2 4 1
Output:
1 2 3 4 5
1 2
1 2 3 4
1
```

```
Input:
No. of rows = 3
No. of columns in rows = 5 6 1
Output:
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 6
1
```

**Explanation of Solution**

To solve this problem, we need to form a 2-D vector whose rows contains natural numbers starting from 1 to the no. of columns in that row. Also as we know that a 2-D vector is a vector of vectors. So we must first make a 2-D vector (named matrix here) using the following line:
```
std::vector <std::vector<int>> matrix;
```

Then we will push required rows in it by first forming vector representing each row one by one and then pushing them in the 2-D vector. In the final step we print the 2-D vector.

**Note**: This problem can be solved by various methods like an array whose each cell points to a linked list but here we are demonstrating 2-D vectors. You are free to experiment and be creative in coming up with various approaches.

**Solution**

```
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>
int main(){
//inputting the no. of rows in required 2-D matrix
int rows;
std::cout<<"No. of rows = ";
std::cin>>rows;
std::vector<int> columns;
std::cout<<"No. of columns in rows = ";
int temp;
//inputting the no. of columns in (i+1)th row
//and storing it in a vector
for(int i=0;i<rows;++i){
std::cin>>temp;
columns.push_back(temp);
}
//defining the 2-D vector
std::vector <std::vector<int>> matrix;
for(int i=0;i<rows;++i){
//defining a temporary vector
std::vector <int> tempvect;
//filling temporary vector with required
//values for (i+1)th row from top
for(int j=0;j<columns[i];++j){
tempvect.push_back(j+1);
}
//saving the created row in matrix
matrix.push_back(tempvect);
}
//printing the matrix
for(int i=0;i<matrix.size();++i){
//printing the (i+1)th row(or vector) from top
for(int j=0;j<matrix[i].size();++j){
std::cout<<matrix[i][j]<<" ";
}
std::cout<<"\n";
}
return 0;
}
```

# Time Complexity

- Worst case time complexity:
`O(N)`

- Average case time complexity:
`Î˜(N)`

- Best case time complexity:
`Î©(N)`

- Space complexity:
`Î˜(N)`

where N is the summation of all columns.

With this article at OpenGenus, you must have the complete idea of defining a 2D vector in C++. Enjoy.