### 12Pattern Matching

The match form supports pattern matching on arbitrary Racket values, as opposed to functions like regexp-match that compare regular expressions to byte and character sequences (see Regular Expressions).

 (match target-expr [pattern expr ...+] ...)

The match form takes the result of target-expr and tries to match each pattern in order. As soon as it finds a match, it evaluates the corresponding expr sequence to obtain the result for the match form. If pattern includes pattern variables, they are treated like wildcards, and each variable is bound in the expr to the input fragments that it matched.

Most Racket literal expressions can be used as patterns:

 > (match 2 [1 'one] [2 'two] [3 'three])

'two

 > (match #f [#t 'yes] [#f 'no])

'no

 > (match "apple" ['apple 'symbol] ["apple" 'string] [#f 'boolean])

'string

Constructors like cons, list, and vector can be used to create patterns that match pairs, lists, and vectors:

 > (match '(1 2) [(list 0 1) 'one] [(list 1 2) 'two])

'two

 > (match '(1 . 2) [(list 1 2) 'list] [(cons 1 2) 'pair])

'pair

 > (match #(1 2) [(list 1 2) 'list] [(vector 1 2) 'vector])

'vector

A constructor bound with struct also can be used as a pattern constructor:

> (struct shoe (size color))
> (struct hat (size style))
 > (match (hat 23 'bowler) [(shoe 10 'white) "bottom"] [(hat 23 'bowler) "top"])

"top"

Unquoted, non-constructor identifiers in a pattern are pattern variables that are bound in the result expressions:

 > (match '(1) [(list x) (+ x 1)] [(list x y) (+ x y)])

2

 > (match '(1 2) [(list x) (+ x 1)] [(list x y) (+ x y)])

3

 > (match (make-hat 23 'bowler) [(struct shoe (sz col)) sz] [(struct hat (sz stl)) sz])

reference to undefined identifier: make-hat

An ellipsis, written ..., act like a Kleene star within a list or vector pattern: the preceding sub-pattern can be used to match any number of times for any number of consecutive elements of the list of vector. If a sub-pattern followed by an ellipsis includes a pattern variable, the variable matches multiple times, and it is bound in the result expression to a list of matches:

 > (match '(1 1 1) [(list 1 ...) 'ones] [else 'other])

'ones

 > (match '(1 1 2) [(list 1 ...) 'ones] [else 'other])

'other

 > (match '(1 2 3 4) [(list 1 x ... 4) x])

'(2 3)

 > (match (list (hat 23 'bowler) (hat 22 'pork-pie)) [(list (hat sz styl) ...) (apply + sz)])

45

Ellipses can be nested to match nested repetitions, and in that case, pattern variables can be bound to lists of lists of matches:

 > (match '((! 1) (! 2 2) (! 3 3 3)) [(list (list '! x ...) ...) x])

'((1) (2 2) (3 3 3))

For information on many more pattern forms, see racket/match.

Forms like match-let and match-lambda support patterns in positions that otherwise must be identifiers. For example, match-let generalizes let to a destructing bind:

 > (match-let ([(list x y z) '(1 2 3)]) (list z y x))

'(3 2 1)

For information on these additional forms, see racket/match.

Pattern Matching in Reference: Racket provides more on pattern matching.