# 14  Logical vectors

You are reading the work-in-progress second edition of R for Data Science. This chapter is largely complete and just needs final proof reading. You can find the complete first edition at https://r4ds.had.co.nz.

## 14.1 Introduction

In this chapter, you’ll learn tools for working with logical vectors. Logical vectors are the simplest type of vector because each element can only be one of three possible values: `TRUE`, `FALSE`, and `NA`. It’s relatively rare to find logical vectors in your raw data, but you’ll create and manipulate them in the course of almost every analysis.

We’ll begin by discussing the most common way of creating logical vectors: with numeric comparisons. Then you’ll learn about how you can use Boolean algebra to combine different logical vectors, as well as some useful summaries. We’ll finish off with `if_else()` and `case_when()`, two useful functions for making conditional changes powered by logical vectors.

### 14.1.1 Prerequisites

Most of the functions you’ll learn about in this chapter are provided by base R, so we don’t need the tidyverse, but we’ll still load it so we can use `mutate()`, `filter()`, and friends to work with data frames. We’ll also continue to draw examples from the `nycflights13::flights` dataset.

``````library(tidyverse)
library(nycflights13)``````

However, as we start to cover more tools, there won’t always be a perfect real example. So we’ll start making up some dummy data with `c()`:

``````x <- c(1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13)
x * 2
#>   2  4  6 10 14 22 26``````

This makes it easier to explain individual functions at the cost of making it harder to see how it might apply to your data problems. Just remember that any manipulation we do to a free-floating vector, you can do to a variable inside a data frame with `mutate()` and friends.

``````df <- tibble(x)
df |>
mutate(y = x *  2)
#> # A tibble: 7 × 2
#>       x     y
#>   <dbl> <dbl>
#> 1     1     2
#> 2     2     4
#> 3     3     6
#> 4     5    10
#> 5     7    14
#> 6    11    22
#> # … with 1 more row``````

## 14.2 Comparisons

A very common way to create a logical vector is via a numeric comparison with `<`, `<=`, `>`, `>=`, `!=`, and `==`. So far, we’ve mostly created logical variables transiently within `filter()` — they are computed, used, and then thrown away. For example, the following filter finds all daytime departures that leave roughly on time:

``````flights |>
filter(dep_time > 600 & dep_time < 2000 & abs(arr_delay) < 20)
#> # A tibble: 172,286 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1      601      600       1     844     850      -6 B6
#> 2  2013     1     1      602      610      -8     812     820      -8 DL
#> 3  2013     1     1      602      605      -3     821     805      16 MQ
#> 4  2013     1     1      606      610      -4     858     910     -12 AA
#> 5  2013     1     1      606      610      -4     837     845      -8 DL
#> 6  2013     1     1      607      607       0     858     915     -17 UA
#> # … with 172,280 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …``````

It’s useful to know that this is a shortcut and you can explicitly create the underlying logical variables with `mutate()`:

``````flights |>
mutate(
daytime = dep_time > 600 & dep_time < 2000,
approx_ontime = abs(arr_delay) < 20,
.keep = "used"
)
#> # A tibble: 336,776 × 4
#>   dep_time arr_delay daytime approx_ontime
#>      <int>     <dbl> <lgl>   <lgl>
#> 1      517        11 FALSE   TRUE
#> 2      533        20 FALSE   FALSE
#> 3      542        33 FALSE   FALSE
#> 4      544       -18 FALSE   TRUE
#> 5      554       -25 FALSE   FALSE
#> 6      554        12 FALSE   TRUE
#> # … with 336,770 more rows``````

This is particularly useful for more complicated logic because naming the intermediate steps makes it easier to both read your code and check that each step has been computed correctly.

All up, the initial filter is equivalent to:

``````flights |>
mutate(
daytime = dep_time > 600 & dep_time < 2000,
approx_ontime = abs(arr_delay) < 20,
) |>
filter(daytime & approx_ontime)``````

### 14.2.1 Floating point comparison

Beware of using `==` with numbers. For example, it looks like this vector contains the numbers 1 and 2:

``````x <- c(1 / 49 * 49, sqrt(2) ^ 2)
x
#>  1 2``````

But if you test them for equality, you get `FALSE`:

``````x == c(1, 2)
#>  FALSE FALSE``````

What’s going on? Computers store numbers with a fixed number of decimal places so there’s no way to exactly represent 1/49 or `sqrt(2)` and subsequent computations will be very slightly off. We can see the exact values by calling `print()` with the `digits`1 argument:

``````print(x, digits = 16)
#>  0.9999999999999999 2.0000000000000004``````

You can see why R defaults to rounding these numbers; they really are very close to what you expect.

Now that you’ve seen why `==` is failing, what can you do about it? One option is to use `dplyr::near()` which ignores small differences:

``````near(x, c(1, 2))
#>  TRUE TRUE``````

### 14.2.2 Missing values

Missing values represent the unknown so they are “contagious”: almost any operation involving an unknown value will also be unknown:

``````NA > 5
#>  NA
10 == NA
#>  NA``````

The most confusing result is this one:

``````NA == NA
#>  NA``````

It’s easiest to understand why this is true if we artificially supply a little more context:

``````# Let x be Mary's age. We don't know how old she is.
x <- NA

# Let y be John's age. We don't know how old he is.
y <- NA

# Are John and Mary the same age?
x == y
#>  NA
# We don't know!``````

So if you want to find all flights where `dep_time` is missing, the following code doesn’t work because `dep_time == NA` will yield `NA` for every single row, and `filter()` automatically drops missing values:

``````flights |>
filter(dep_time == NA)
#> # A tibble: 0 × 19
#> # … with 19 variables: year <int>, month <int>, day <int>, dep_time <int>,
#> #   sched_dep_time <int>, dep_delay <dbl>, arr_time <int>, …``````

Instead we’ll need a new tool: `is.na()`.

### 14.2.3`is.na()`

`is.na(x)` works with any type of vector and returns `TRUE` for missing values and `FALSE` for everything else:

``````is.na(c(TRUE, NA, FALSE))
#>  FALSE  TRUE FALSE
is.na(c(1, NA, 3))
#>  FALSE  TRUE FALSE
is.na(c("a", NA, "b"))
#>  FALSE  TRUE FALSE``````

We can use `is.na()` to find all the rows with a missing `dep_time`:

``````flights |>
filter(is.na(dep_time))
#> # A tibble: 8,255 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1       NA     1630      NA      NA    1815      NA EV
#> 2  2013     1     1       NA     1935      NA      NA    2240      NA AA
#> 3  2013     1     1       NA     1500      NA      NA    1825      NA AA
#> 4  2013     1     1       NA      600      NA      NA     901      NA B6
#> 5  2013     1     2       NA     1540      NA      NA    1747      NA EV
#> 6  2013     1     2       NA     1620      NA      NA    1746      NA EV
#> # … with 8,249 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …``````

`is.na()` can also be useful in `arrange()`. `arrange()` usually puts all the missing values at the end but you can override this default by first sorting by `is.na()`:

``````flights |>
filter(month == 1, day == 1) |>
arrange(dep_time)
#> # A tibble: 842 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1      517      515       2     830     819      11 UA
#> 2  2013     1     1      533      529       4     850     830      20 UA
#> 3  2013     1     1      542      540       2     923     850      33 AA
#> 4  2013     1     1      544      545      -1    1004    1022     -18 B6
#> 5  2013     1     1      554      600      -6     812     837     -25 DL
#> 6  2013     1     1      554      558      -4     740     728      12 UA
#> # … with 836 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …

flights |>
filter(month == 1, day == 1) |>
arrange(desc(is.na(dep_time)), dep_time)
#> # A tibble: 842 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1       NA     1630      NA      NA    1815      NA EV
#> 2  2013     1     1       NA     1935      NA      NA    2240      NA AA
#> 3  2013     1     1       NA     1500      NA      NA    1825      NA AA
#> 4  2013     1     1       NA      600      NA      NA     901      NA B6
#> 5  2013     1     1      517      515       2     830     819      11 UA
#> 6  2013     1     1      533      529       4     850     830      20 UA
#> # … with 836 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …``````

We’ll come back to cover missing values in more depth in Chapter 20.

### 14.2.4 Exercises

1. How does `dplyr::near()` work? Type `near` to see the source code.
2. Use `mutate()`, `is.na()`, and `count()` together to describe how the missing values in `dep_time`, `sched_dep_time` and `dep_delay` are connected.

## 14.3 Boolean algebra

Once you have multiple logical vectors, you can combine them together using Boolean algebra. In R, `&` is “and”, `|` is “or”, `!` is “not”, and `xor()` is exclusive or2. Figure 14.1 shows the complete set of Boolean operations and how they work. Figure 14.1: The complete set of boolean operations. x is the left-hand circle, y is the right-hand circle, and the shaded region show which parts each operator selects.

As well as `&` and `|`, R also has `&&` and `||`. Don’t use them in dplyr functions! These are called short-circuiting operators and only ever return a single `TRUE` or `FALSE`. They’re important for programming, not data science.

### 14.3.1 Missing values

The rules for missing values in Boolean algebra are a little tricky to explain because they seem inconsistent at first glance:

``````df <- tibble(x = c(TRUE, FALSE, NA))

df |>
mutate(
and = x & NA,
or = x | NA
)
#> # A tibble: 3 × 3
#>   x     and   or
#>   <lgl> <lgl> <lgl>
#> 1 TRUE  NA    TRUE
#> 2 FALSE FALSE NA
#> 3 NA    NA    NA``````

To understand what’s going on, think about `NA | TRUE`. A missing value in a logical vector means that the value could either be `TRUE` or `FALSE`. `TRUE | TRUE` and `FALSE | TRUE` are both `TRUE`, so `NA | TRUE` must also be `TRUE`. Similar reasoning applies with `NA & FALSE`.

### 14.3.2 Order of operations

Note that the order of operations doesn’t work like English. Take the following code that finds all flights that departed in November or December:

``````flights |>
filter(month == 11 | month == 12)``````

You might be tempted to write it like you’d say in English: “Find all flights that departed in November or December.”:

``````flights |>
filter(month == 11 | 12)
#> # A tibble: 336,776 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1      517      515       2     830     819      11 UA
#> 2  2013     1     1      533      529       4     850     830      20 UA
#> 3  2013     1     1      542      540       2     923     850      33 AA
#> 4  2013     1     1      544      545      -1    1004    1022     -18 B6
#> 5  2013     1     1      554      600      -6     812     837     -25 DL
#> 6  2013     1     1      554      558      -4     740     728      12 UA
#> # … with 336,770 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …``````

This code doesn’t error but it also doesn’t seem to have worked. What’s going on? Here, R first evaluates `month == 11` creating a logical vector, which we call `nov`. It computes `nov | 12`. When you use a number with a logical operator it converts everything apart from 0 to `TRUE`, so this is equivalent to `nov | TRUE` which will always be `TRUE`, so every row will be selected:

``````flights |>
mutate(
nov = month == 11,
final = nov | 12,
.keep = "used"
)
#> # A tibble: 336,776 × 3
#>   month nov   final
#>   <int> <lgl> <lgl>
#> 1     1 FALSE TRUE
#> 2     1 FALSE TRUE
#> 3     1 FALSE TRUE
#> 4     1 FALSE TRUE
#> 5     1 FALSE TRUE
#> 6     1 FALSE TRUE
#> # … with 336,770 more rows``````

### 14.3.3`%in%`

An easy way to avoid the problem of getting your `==`s and `|`s in the right order is to use `%in%`. `x %in% y` returns a logical vector the same length as `x` that is `TRUE` whenever a value in `x` is anywhere in `y` .

``````1:12 %in% c(1, 5, 11)
#>    TRUE FALSE FALSE FALSE  TRUE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE  TRUE FALSE
letters[1:10] %in% c("a", "e", "i", "o", "u")
#>    TRUE FALSE FALSE FALSE  TRUE FALSE FALSE FALSE  TRUE FALSE``````

So to find all flights in November and December we could write:

``````flights |>
filter(month %in% c(11, 12))``````

Note that `%in%` obeys different rules for `NA` to `==`, as `NA %in% NA` is `TRUE`.

``````c(1, 2, NA) == NA
#>  NA NA NA
c(1, 2, NA) %in% NA
#>  FALSE FALSE  TRUE``````

This can make for a useful shortcut:

``````flights |>
filter(dep_time %in% c(NA, 0800))
#> # A tibble: 8,803 × 19
#>    year month   day dep_time sched_…¹ dep_d…² arr_t…³ sched…⁴ arr_d…⁵ carrier
#>   <int> <int> <int>    <int>    <int>   <dbl>   <int>   <int>   <dbl> <chr>
#> 1  2013     1     1      800      800       0    1022    1014       8 DL
#> 2  2013     1     1      800      810     -10     949     955      -6 MQ
#> 3  2013     1     1       NA     1630      NA      NA    1815      NA EV
#> 4  2013     1     1       NA     1935      NA      NA    2240      NA AA
#> 5  2013     1     1       NA     1500      NA      NA    1825      NA AA
#> 6  2013     1     1       NA      600      NA      NA     901      NA B6
#> # … with 8,797 more rows, 9 more variables: flight <int>, tailnum <chr>,
#> #   origin <chr>, dest <chr>, air_time <dbl>, distance <dbl>, hour <dbl>, …``````

### 14.3.4 Exercises

1. Find all flights where `arr_delay` is missing but `dep_delay` is not. Find all flights where neither `arr_time` nor `sched_arr_time` are missing, but `arr_delay` is.
2. How many flights have a missing `dep_time`? What other variables are missing in these rows? What might these rows represent?
3. Assuming that a missing `dep_time` implies that a flight is cancelled, look at the number of cancelled flights per day. Is there a pattern? Is there a connection between the proportion of cancelled flights and the average delay of non-cancelled flights?

## 14.4 Summaries

The following sections describe some useful techniques for summarizing logical vectors. As well as functions that only work specifically with logical vectors, you can also use functions that work with numeric vectors.

### 14.4.1 Logical summaries

There are two main logical summaries: `any()` and `all()`. `any(x)` is the equivalent of `|`; it’ll return `TRUE` if there are any `TRUE`’s in `x`. `all(x)` is equivalent of `&`; it’ll return `TRUE` only if all values of `x` are `TRUE`’s. Like all summary functions, they’ll return `NA` if there are any missing values present, and as usual you can make the missing values go away with `na.rm = TRUE`.

For example, we could use `all()` to find out if there were days where every flight was delayed:

``````flights |>
group_by(year, month, day) |>
summarize(
all_delayed = all(arr_delay >= 0, na.rm = TRUE),
any_delayed = any(arr_delay >= 0, na.rm = TRUE),
.groups = "drop"
)
#> # A tibble: 365 × 5
#>    year month   day all_delayed any_delayed
#>   <int> <int> <int> <lgl>       <lgl>
#> 1  2013     1     1 FALSE       TRUE
#> 2  2013     1     2 FALSE       TRUE
#> 3  2013     1     3 FALSE       TRUE
#> 4  2013     1     4 FALSE       TRUE
#> 5  2013     1     5 FALSE       TRUE
#> 6  2013     1     6 FALSE       TRUE
#> # … with 359 more rows``````

In most cases, however, `any()` and `all()` are a little too crude, and it would be nice to be able to get a little more detail about how many values are `TRUE` or `FALSE`. That leads us to the numeric summaries.

### 14.4.2 Numeric summaries of logical vectors

When you use a logical vector in a numeric context, `TRUE` becomes 1 and `FALSE` becomes 0. This makes `sum()` and `mean()` very useful with logical vectors because `sum(x)` will give the number of `TRUE`s and `mean(x)` the proportion of `TRUE`s. That lets us see the distribution of delays across the days of the year as shown in Figure 14.2

``````flights |>
group_by(year, month, day) |>
summarize(
prop_delayed = mean(arr_delay > 0, na.rm = TRUE),
.groups = "drop"
) |>
ggplot(aes(x = prop_delayed)) +
geom_histogram(binwidth = 0.05)`````` Figure 14.2: A histogram showing the proportion of delayed flights each day.

Or we could ask: “How many flights left before 5am?”, which are often flights that were delayed from the previous day:

``````flights |>
group_by(year, month, day) |>
summarize(
n_early = sum(dep_time < 500, na.rm = TRUE),
.groups = "drop"
) |>
arrange(desc(n_early))
#> # A tibble: 365 × 4
#>    year month   day n_early
#>   <int> <int> <int>   <int>
#> 1  2013     6    28      32
#> 2  2013     4    10      30
#> 3  2013     7    28      30
#> 4  2013     3    18      29
#> 5  2013     7     7      29
#> 6  2013     7    10      29
#> # … with 359 more rows``````

### 14.4.3 Logical subsetting

There’s one final use for logical vectors in summaries: you can use a logical vector to filter a single variable to a subset of interest. This makes use of the base `[` (pronounced subset) operator, which you’ll learn more about in Section 29.1.

Imagine we wanted to look at the average delay just for flights that were actually delayed. One way to do so would be to first filter the flights and then calculate the average delay:

``````flights |>
filter(arr_delay > 0) |>
group_by(year, month, day) |>
summarize(
behind = mean(arr_delay),
n = n(),
.groups = "drop"
)
#> # A tibble: 365 × 5
#>    year month   day behind     n
#>   <int> <int> <int>  <dbl> <int>
#> 1  2013     1     1   32.5   461
#> 2  2013     1     2   32.0   535
#> 3  2013     1     3   27.7   460
#> 4  2013     1     4   28.3   297
#> 5  2013     1     5   22.6   238
#> 6  2013     1     6   24.4   381
#> # … with 359 more rows``````

This works, but what if we wanted to also compute the average delay for flights that arrived early? We’d need to perform a separate filter step, and then figure out how to combine the two data frames together3. Instead you could use `[` to perform an inline filtering: `arr_delay[arr_delay > 0]` will yield only the positive arrival delays.

``````flights |>
group_by(year, month, day) |>
summarize(
behind = mean(arr_delay[arr_delay > 0], na.rm = TRUE),
ahead = mean(arr_delay[arr_delay < 0], na.rm = TRUE),
n = n(),
.groups = "drop"
)
#> # A tibble: 365 × 6
#>    year month   day behind ahead     n
#>   <int> <int> <int>  <dbl> <dbl> <int>
#> 1  2013     1     1   32.5 -12.5   842
#> 2  2013     1     2   32.0 -14.3   943
#> 3  2013     1     3   27.7 -18.2   914
#> 4  2013     1     4   28.3 -17.0   915
#> 5  2013     1     5   22.6 -14.0   720
#> 6  2013     1     6   24.4 -13.6   832
#> # … with 359 more rows``````

Also note the difference in the group size: in the first chunk `n()` gives the number of delayed flights per day; in the second, `n()` gives the total number of flights.

### 14.4.4 Exercises

1. What will `sum(is.na(x))` tell you? How about `mean(is.na(x))`?
2. What does `prod()` return when applied to a logical vector? What logical summary function is it equivalent to? What does `min()` return when applied to a logical vector? What logical summary function is it equivalent to? Read the documentation and perform a few experiments.

## 14.5 Conditional transformations

One of the most powerful features of logical vectors are their use for conditional transformations, i.e. doing one thing for condition x, and something different for condition y. There are two important tools for this: `if_else()` and `case_when()`.

### 14.5.1`if_else()`

If you want to use one value when a condition is `TRUE` and another value when it’s `FALSE`, you can use `dplyr::if_else()`4. You’ll always use the first three argument of `if_else()`. The first argument, `condition`, is a logical vector, the second, `true`, gives the output when the condition is true, and the third, `false`, gives the output if the condition is false.

Let’s begin with a simple example of labeling a numeric vector as either “+ve” or “-ve”:

``````x <- c(-3:3, NA)
if_else(x > 0, "+ve", "-ve")
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" NA``````

There’s an optional fourth argument, `missing` which will be used if the input is `NA`:

``````if_else(x > 0, "+ve", "-ve", "???")
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" "???"``````

You can also use vectors for the the `true` and `false` arguments. For example, this allows us to create a minimal implementation of `abs()`:

``````if_else(x < 0, -x, x)
#>   3  2  1  0  1  2  3 NA``````

So far all the arguments have used the same vectors, but you can of course mix and match. For example, you could implement a simple version of `coalesce()` like this:

``````x1 <- c(NA, 1, 2, NA)
y1 <- c(3, NA, 4, 6)
if_else(is.na(x1), y1, x1)
#>  3 1 2 6``````

You might have noticed a small infelicity in our labeling example above: zero is neither positive nor negative. We could resolve this by adding an additional `if_else()`:

``````if_else(x == 0, "0", if_else(x < 0, "-ve", "+ve"), "???")
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "0"   "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" "???"``````

This is already a little hard to read, and you can imagine it would only get harder if you have more conditions. Instead, you can switch to `dplyr::case_when()`.

### 14.5.2`case_when()`

dplyr’s `case_when()` is inspired by SQL’s `CASE` statement and provides a flexible way of performing different computations for different conditions. It has a special syntax that unfortunately looks like nothing else you’ll use in the tidyverse. It takes pairs that look like `condition ~ output`. `condition` must be a logical vector; when it’s `TRUE`, `output` will be used.

This means we could recreate our previous nested `if_else()` as follows:

``````x <- c(-3:3, NA)
case_when(
x == 0   ~ "0",
x < 0    ~ "-ve",
x > 0    ~ "+ve",
is.na(x) ~ "???"
)
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "0"   "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" "???"``````

This is more code, but it’s also more explicit.

To explain how `case_when()` works, lets explore some simpler cases. If none of the cases match, the output gets an `NA`:

``````case_when(
x < 0 ~ "-ve",
x > 0 ~ "+ve"
)
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" NA    "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" NA``````

If you want to create a “default”/catch all value, use `TRUE` on the left hand side:

``````case_when(
x < 0 ~ "-ve",
x > 0 ~ "+ve",
TRUE ~ "???"
)
#>  "-ve" "-ve" "-ve" "???" "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" "???"``````

And note that if multiple conditions match, only the first will be used:

``````case_when(
x > 0 ~ "+ve",
x > 2 ~ "big"
)
#>  NA    NA    NA    NA    "+ve" "+ve" "+ve" NA``````

Just like with `if_else()` you can use variables on both sides of the `~` and you can mix and match variables as needed for your problem. For example, we could use `case_when()` to provide some human readable labels for the arrival delay:

``````flights |>
mutate(
status = case_when(
is.na(arr_delay)      ~ "cancelled",
arr_delay < -30       ~ "very early",
arr_delay < -15       ~ "early",
abs(arr_delay) <= 15  ~ "on time",
arr_delay < 60        ~ "late",
arr_delay < Inf       ~ "very late",
),
.keep = "used"
)
#> # A tibble: 336,776 × 2
#>   arr_delay status
#>       <dbl> <chr>
#> 1        11 on time
#> 2        20 late
#> 3        33 late
#> 4       -18 early
#> 5       -25 early
#> 6        12 on time
#> # … with 336,770 more rows``````

Be wary when writing this sort of complex `case_when()` statement; my first two attempts used a mix of `<` and `>` and I kept accidentally creating overlapping conditions.

### 14.5.3 Compatible types

Note that both `if_else()` and `case_when()` require compatible types in the output. If they’re not compatible, you’ll see errors like this:

``````if_else(TRUE, "a", 1)
#> Error in `if_else()`:
#> ! Can't combine `true` <character> and `false` <double>.

case_when(
x < -1 ~ TRUE,
x > 0  ~ lubridate::now()
)
#> Error in `case_when()`:
#> ! Can't combine `TRUE` <logical> and `lubridate::now()` <datetime<local>>.``````

Overall, relatively few types are compatible, because automatically converting one type of vector to another is a common source of errors. Here are the most important cases that are compatible:

• Numeric and logical vectors are compatible, as we discussed in Section 14.4.2.
• Strings and factors (Chapter 18) are compatible, because you can think of a factor as a string with a restricted set of values.
• Dates and date-times, which we’ll discuss in Chapter 19, are compatible because you can think of a date as a special case of date-time.
• `NA`, which is technically a logical vector, is compatible with everything because every vector has some way of representing a missing value.

We don’t expect you to memorize these rules, but they should become second nature over time because they are applied consistently throughout the tidyverse.

## 14.6 Summary

The definition of a logical vector is simple because each value must be either `TRUE`, `FALSE`, or `NA`. But logical vectors provide a huge amount of power. In this chapter, you learned how to create logical vectors with `>`, `<`, `<=`, `=>`, `==`, `!=`, and `is.na()`, how to combine them with `!`, `&`, and `|`, and how to summarize them with `any()`, `all()`, `sum()`, and `mean()`. You also learned the powerful `if_else()` and `case_when()` functions that allow you to return values depending on the value of a logical vector.

We’ll see logical vectors again and again in the following chapters. For example in Chapter 16 you’ll learn about `str_detect(x, pattern)` which returns a logical vector that’s `TRUE` for the elements of `x` that match the `pattern`, and in Chapter 19 you’ll create logical vectors from the comparison of dates and times. But for now, we’re going to move onto the next most important type of vector: numeric vectors.

1. R normally calls print for you (i.e. `x` is a shortcut for `print(x)`), but calling it explicitly is useful if you want to provide other arguments.↩︎

2. That is, `xor(x, y)` is true if x is true, or y is true, but not both. This is how we usually use “or” In English. “Both” is not usually an acceptable answer to the question “would you like ice cream or cake?”.↩︎

3. We’ll cover this in Chapter 21.↩︎

4. dplyr’s `if_else()` is very similar to base R’s `ifelse()`. There are two main advantages of `if_else()`over `ifelse()`: you can choose what should happen to missing values, and `if_else()` is much more likely to give you a meaningful error if you variables have incompatible types.↩︎