Finding the most common entry in a column

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# 1  
Old 11-21-2007
Finding the most common entry in a column


I have a file with 3 columns in it that are comma separated and it has about 5000 lines. What I want to do is find the most common value in column 3 using awk or a shell script or whatever works! I'm totally stuck on how to do this.



Clearly in the above example the most popular value in column3 is "bob", but how would I write a script to work this out?

Many thanks
# 2  
Old 11-21-2007
nawk -f don.awk myFile

{a[$3]++; if (a[$3] > comV) { comN=$3; comV=a[$3]} }
    printf("Most Common Name: [%s] = [%d]\n", comN, comV)

Last edited by vgersh99; 11-21-2007 at 01:08 PM..
# 3  
Old 11-21-2007

This one should also be ok for you. Actually, this case involved persormance issue, since your file has thousound and hunderds of lines. So difficult logic will have different result.

To be honest, i only know how to get the result, but i have no idea to give out a high-performance code. So you'd better ask some expert for help.

Here comes my code:

awk 'BEGIN{
if (sum[$3]>n)
print m
}' filename

# 4  
Old 11-22-2007

So you're willing to accept a (more or less) random result of any of the winners if there is a tie among two or more names? ... cheers, drl
# 5  
Old 11-22-2007
It will be sufficient to turn comN/m into array.
# 6  
Old 11-22-2007
Thanks guys,

I got both of the above to work but my CPU usage hit 100% lol! Any ideas on either making this more efficient or limiting the amount of CPU that this awk script can hog?

Thanks again
# 7  
Old 11-22-2007
Hi, can u check this?

awk -F\, '{print $NF}' file|sort -u|xargs -i ksh -c 'echo "{} \c";grep -wc ",{}$" file'|sort -r -k 2,2|head -1|awk '{print $1}'

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