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Recently, while doing summer research in Bioinformatics (I'm an undergrad dual-majoring in Computer Science and Biology) I had cause to explore Perl's references. Up until now, I had never needed an especially complex data structure. Perl's basic data structures have always served my needs adequately, and to be honest, I found Perl's referencing and dereferencing a bit confusing. Even the structure posted below isn't exceedingly complex, but it did spark my curiosity. What was the most complex data structure you ever tried constructing, and why? Another thing I've noticed is that it's often fun to use complex structures, but possible (and even simpler) to use several simpler ones. Anyone else noticed this? How much time / effort have you expended creating a huge structure, only to realize that it makes much more sense to break it up?

use strict; my ($key, $value, %massive, $element, $x, $y); open(CONSERVE, ""); while(<CONSERVE>) { my @params; chomp($_); @params = split /\t/, $_; $massive{$params[0]}->[int($params[1] / 1000000)] = \@params; } close(CONSERVE); open(PARAM, ""); while (<PARAM>) { my @params; chomp($_); ($key, $value, undef, @params)= split /\t/, $_; push(@{$massive{$key}->[int($value / 1000000)]}, @params); } close (PARAM); open(TSC, ""); while (<TSC>) { chomp($_); ($key, $value, undef, $element)= split /\t/, $_; push(@{$massive{$key}->[int($value / 1000000)]}, $element); } close(TSC); open(NIH, ""); while (<NIH>) { chomp($_); ($key, $value, undef, $element)= split /\t/, $_; push(@{$massive{$key}->[int($value / 1000000)]}, $element); } close(NIH); open(FILEOUT, ""); foreach $x(values(%massive)) { foreach $y(@{$x}) { print FILEOUT join("\t", @{$y}) . "\n"; } } close(FILEOUT);

I have, of course, stripped system-specific information from this, but it was a script I wrote recently for combining multiple data sets into one coherent file. Though I probably won't be revising it, as its usefulness has passed, comments on the code -in addition to comments about the questions above- are welcome.

-Mike-

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