How to Order a Matrix by Column in R Programming (Example Code)

This page illustrates how to order a matrix by its first variable in the R programming language.

Creation of Example Data

set.seed(98356)                                          # Set random seed
example_matrix <- matrix(round(rnorm(30), 1), ncol = 5)  # Creating matrix
example_matrix                                           # Showing matrix in RStudio console
#      [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5]
# [1,] -1.4 -1.3  0.6  0.5 -0.1
# [2,] -0.2  0.9 -0.3  0.0  0.0
# [3,]  0.0 -1.5  1.3  0.0  0.1
# [4,] -1.8  0.4 -1.3 -1.1  0.3
# [5,]  0.4 -1.1 -0.8  0.0  1.1
# [6,]  0.3  1.4  0.3  1.5 -0.2

Example: Ordering Matrix by Its First Variable

example_matrix[order(example_matrix[ , 1]), ]            # Using order() function
#      [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5]
# [1,] -1.8  0.4 -1.3 -1.1  0.3
# [2,] -1.4 -1.3  0.6  0.5 -0.1
# [3,] -0.2  0.9 -0.3  0.0  0.0
# [4,]  0.0 -1.5  1.3  0.0  0.1
# [5,]  0.3  1.4  0.3  1.5 -0.2
# [6,]  0.4 -1.1 -0.8  0.0  1.1

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