Secret Santa Picker using R

December 12, 2015
By

(This article was first published on The Practical R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Here’s a quick post on making a secret santa picker using R. The code eliminates a person from picking themselves, otherwise it’s no frills.

#set the variable for the number of people
npeople=5

fam=matrix(ncol=1, nrow=npeople, NA)
fam[1,1]="name1"
fam[2,1]="name2"
fam[3,1]="name3"
fam[4,1]="name4"
fam[5,1]="name5"


fam2=matrix(ncol=1, nrow=npeople, NA)
names=c("name1","name2","name3","name4","name5")
for (i in 1:npeople){
  #pick the first name
  if (i==1){
    xx2=sample(names, (npeople-i+1), replace=FALSE)
  } else
    xx2=sample(xx2, (npeople-i+1), replace=FALSE)
  
  if (xx2[1]!=fam[i,1]){
    fam2[i,1]=xx2[1]
  } else{
    fam2[i,1]=xx2[2]}
    
  
  #set up the new matrix with one less name
  used=which(xx2==fam2[i])
  xx2[used]="zzzzz"
  xx2=sort(xx2)[1:(npeople-i)]
}

#add "has" to the matrix
has=matrix(ncol=1,nrow=npeople, "has")

#build the final matrices
final=cbind(fam,has,fam2)	
#the final results
final

[,1] [,2] [,3]
[1,] “name1” “has” “name4”
[2,] “name2” “has” “name3”
[3,] “name3” “has” “name5”
[4,] “name4” “has” “name2”
[5,] “name5” “has” “name1”

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