Adding a method for computing Cartesian Product to Groovy’s Collection(s)

groovy-cartesian-productIn these days I’m using the Groovy programming language very often, I found this language very intuitive and expressive. I try to use, when it is appropriate and convenient , Functional programming style and methods.

One of the key elements of functional programming paradigm (opposite to the imperative paradigm) is “thinking in  space rather than thinking in time”, this translates in a extensive usage of collections and constructs for creating a collection based on existing collections. The most common collection used is the list, the syntactic construct for creating a list based on existing lists is named List comprehension.

I think that the list, or more generic collection, comprehension in Groovy is very powerful (Groovy Collection API), and in my everyday usage I found that it has everything that I need to express the algorithm that I implement in terms of Collection comprehension. By the way, more that once I needed to obtain the Cartesian product of two collections, so I thought it is nice to have a method in Collection for computing the Cartesian product.

Cartesian product

The Cartesian product is a mathematical operation which returns a set (or product set) from multiple sets. That is, for sets A and B, the Cartesian product A × B is the set of all ordered pairs (a,b) where a ∈ A and b ∈ B:

f(A, B) = \bigcup_{a\in A}\bigcup_{b\in B} (a, b).

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