HashMap

Instances of the HashMap class implement the Map interface, which means that they store items as key-value pairs.

A HashMap is similar to a TreeMap. However, the HashMap stores its items sorted in no particular order. (Actually, it’s sorted by the hashes of its keys, which for most purposes is essentially random.) This is due to the different storage types each collection uses internally. The HashMap stores its keys as hashes for lookup, whereas the TreeMap stores its keys in a binary tree structure for lookup. The advantage of a HashMap is that its operations are much faster.

Syntax

import java.util.HashMap
HashMap<KeyDatatype, ValueDatatype> myHashMap = new HashMap<KeyDatatype, ValueDatatype>();

The HashMap class comes from the java.util package. Therefore, it must be imported in order to be used. The HashMap is initialized with two generic types inside angle brackets < ... >. The generic data types for KeyDatatype and ValueDatatype can either be different or the same.

Accessing Items

Keys are used for uniquely identifying a value in a HashMap. This allows for efficient data storage and easy access. In the example below, the course names are the keys and the teachers assigned are the values that can be accessed by passing the corresponding key into the .get() method.

// Import the HashMap class
import java.util.HashMap;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
HashMap<String, String> courseTeacher = new HashMap<String, String>();
// Add keys and values (CourseNames, Teacher)
courseTeacher.put("History", "Ben");
courseTeacher.put("Mathematics", "Jeanette");
courseTeacher.put("Physics", "Lily");
System.out.println(courseTeacher.get("Physics"););
System.out.println(courseTeacher.get("History"););
}
}

This will print the following output:

Lily
Ben

Adding Items

Items can be added to a HashMap using the .put() method. It accepts two attributes, a key and a value, and stores them as a pair ({ key=value }).

import java.util.HashMap;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
HashMap<String, String> courseTeacher = new HashMap<String, String>();
courseTeacher.put("History", "Ben");
courseTeacher.put("Mathematics", "Jeanette");
courseTeacher.put("Physics", "Lily");
System.out.println(courseTeacher);
}
}

This will output the following “course=teacher” assignments:

{History=Ben, Mathematics=Jeanette, Physics=Lily}

Removing Items

Items can be removed from a HashMap using the .remove() method. It accepts one parameter, the key, and removes the corresponding key-value pair from the HashMap.

import java.util.HashMap;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
HashMap<String, String> courseTeacher = new HashMap<String, String>();
courseTeacher.put("History", "Ben");
courseTeacher.put("Mathematics", "Jeanette");
courseTeacher.put("Physics", "Lily");
courseTeacher.remove("Physics");
System.out.println(courseTeacher);
}
}

The following output will look like this:

{History=Ben, Mathematics=Jeanette}

Removing All Items

The .clear() method can be used to remove all the items from the HashMap.

import java.util.HashMap;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
HashMap<String, String> courseTeacher = new HashMap<String, String>();
courseTeacher.put("History", "Ben");
courseTeacher.put("Mathematics", "Jeanette");
courseTeacher.put("Physics", "Lily");
courseTeacher.clear();
System.out.println(courseTeacher);
}
}

An empty HashMap will be displayed in the output below:

{}

Traversing a HashMap

A HashMap can be traversed with the for-each loop. The .keySet() method can be used to obtain only the keys while the .values() method can be used to obtain only values.

import java.util.HashMap;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
HashMap<String, String> courseTeacher = new HashMap<String, String>();
courseTeacher.put("History", "Ben");
courseTeacher.put("Mathematics", "Jeanette");
courseTeacher.put("Physics", "Lily");
System.out.println("Courses offered at our Institute:");
for (String i : courseTeacher.keySet()) {
System.out.println(i);
}
System.out.println("\nTeachers teaching at our Institute:");
for (String i : courseTeacher.values()) {
System.out.println(i);
}
}
}

The output will be:

Courses offered at our Institute:
Mathematics
History
Physics
Teachers teaching at our Institute:
Jeanette
Ben
Lily

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