For fun, I would like to implement some of the SQL aggregates in C: SUM (sum), AVG (average), MIN (minimum), MAX (maximum), STDEV (standard deviation), VAR (variance).

To do this in C, I’ll use functions with variable number of arguments instead of a function with an array and a count of the elements in that array. To do this, I need to have a special value for the last parameter in the variable list of arguments to know when to stop getting arguments in the list. For that, I’m going to use the INT_MIN macro in the <climits> C library. For example, to get the average of the numbers 6, 3, and 19, the call would look like AVG(6, 3, 19, INT_MIN).

### SUM

Implementing this in C is lame, but I’ll use it as the starting point before getting to the other functions. I would definitely prefer to write 1 + 2 + 3 in C instead of SUM(1, 2, 3, INT_MIN).

#### Definition

int sum (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int sum = 0;
// declare a variable argument list
va_list arg_list;
// initialize the arglist
va_start (arg_list, first);
// Sum all arguments
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
sum += i;
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
// End the argument list
va_end(arg_list);
return sum;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Sum of (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) = %d\n", sum (1, 2, 3 , 4, 5, INT_MIN));

#### Output

15

### AVG

Instead of writing something like (1+2+3+4)/4 or (4 + 3 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 11 + 19 + 25 + 111 + 55 + 32 + 57)/ 12, I’d rather write AVG(1, 2, 3, 4, INT_MIN) or AVG(4, 3, 6, 1, 5, 11, 19, 25, 111, 55 , 32, 57, INT_MIN) without having to count the number of numbers I’m calculating the average for.

#### Definition

double avg (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int sum = 0, count = 0;
va_list arg_list;
va_start (arg_list, first);
// sum and count all arguments
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
sum += i;
count++;
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
va_end(arg_list);
return (double) sum / count;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Average of (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) = %.2f\n", avg (1, 2, 3 , 4, 5, INT_MIN));

#### Output

3.00

### MIN

Instead of implementing MIN by passing an array and the count of numbers in that array , I’d rather just pass all the numbers to the function without having to worry about creating an array and counting the number of elements inside it.

#### Definition

int min (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int min = first;
va_list arg_list;
va_start(arg_list, first);
// Search for any other argument that is less than the first
// If you find one, then assign it to min
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
if(i < min)
min = i;
i = va_arg(arg_list, int);
}
va_end(arg_list);
return min;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Minimum of (10, 23, 3, 41, 15) = %d\n", min (10, 23, 3, 41, 15, INT_MIN));

#### Output

3

### MAX

Gets the maximum number in a set.

#### Definition

int max (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int max = first;
va_list arg_list;
va_start(arg_list, first);
// Search for any other argument that is greater than the first
// If you find one, then assign it to max
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
if(i > max)
max = i;
i = va_arg(arg_list, int);
}
va_end(arg_list);
return max;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Maximum of (10, 23, 3, 41, 15) = %d\n", max (10, 23, 3, 41, 15, INT_MIN));

#### Output

41

### STDEV

Calculates the standard deviation for a set of numbers.

#### Definition

double stdev (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int count = 0;
int sum = 0;
double mean = 0;
double deviation = 0;
va_list arg_list;
// Calculate the mean (average)
va_start(arg_list, first);
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
sum += i;
count++;
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
va_end(arg_list);
mean = (float) sum / count;
// Calculate the standard deviation
i = first;
va_start(arg_list, first);
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
deviation += pow((i - mean), 2);
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
deviation /= count;
deviation = sqrt(deviation);
va_end(arg_list);
return deviation;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Standard Deviation of (2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 9) = %.2f\n", stdev (2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 9, INT_MIN));

#### Output

2.00

### VAR

Calculates the variance for a set of numbers.

#### Definition

double var (int first, ...)
{
register int i = first;
int count = 0;
int sum = 0;
double mean = 0;
double variance = 0;
va_list arg_list;
// Calculate the mean (average)
va_start(arg_list, first);
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
sum += i;
count++;
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
va_end(arg_list);
mean = (float) sum / count;
// Calculate the variance
i = first;
va_start(arg_list, first);
while(i != INT_MIN)
{
variance += pow((i - mean), 2);
i = va_arg (arg_list, int);
}
variance /= (count - 1);
va_end(arg_list);
return variance;
}

#### Usage

printf ("Variance of (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) = %.2f\n", var (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, INT_MIN));

#### Output

3.50

Full source code is available

here.

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