In computer science, a multimap (sometimes also multihash or multidict) is a generalization of a map or associative array abstract data type in which more than one value may be associated with and returned for a given key. Both map and multimap are particular cases of containers (for example, see C++ Standard Template Library containers). Often the multimap is implemented as a map with lists or sets as the map values.
- In a student enrollment system, where students may be enrolled in multiple classes simultaneously, there might be an association for each enrollment of a student in a course, where the key is the student ID and the value is the course ID. If a student is enrolled in three courses, there will be three associations containing the same key.
- The index of a book may report any number of references for a given index term, and thus may be coded as a multimap from index terms to any number of reference locations or pages.
- Querystrings may have multiple values associated with a single field. This is commonly generated when a web form allows multiple check boxes or selections to be chosen in response to a single form element.
C++'s Standard Template Library provides the
multimap container for the sorted multimap using a self-balancing binary search tree, and SGI's STL extension provides the
hash_multimap container, which implements a multimap using a hash table.
Python provides a
collections.defaultdict class that can be used to create a multimap. You can instantiate the class as
OCaml's standard library module
Hashtbl implements a hash table where it's possible to store multiple values for a key.
- Abstract data type for the concept of type in general
- Associative array for the more fundamental abstract data type
- Multiset for the case where same item can appear several times
- "multimap<Key, Data, Compare, Alloc>". Standard Template Library Programmer's Guide. Silicon Graphics International.
- "hash_multimap<Key, HashFcn, EqualKey, Alloc>". Standard Template Library Programmer's Guide. Silicon Graphics International.
- "Working Draft, Standard for Programming Language C++" (PDF). p. 7807.
- "Multimap". Quiver API docs.
- "Interface MultiMap". Commons Collections 3.2.2 API, Apache Commons.
- "Class MultiValueMap". Commons Collections 3.2.2 API, Apache Commons.
- "Interface Multimap<K,V>". Guava Library 2.0.
- "Scala.collection.mutable.MultiMap". Scala stable API.