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Alternative Tip/Trick


, 3 Feb 2013 CPOL
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This is an alternative for "Dictionary.BestMatch"


This Extension Method allows a partial match of a key of type string to select an item from a Dictionary. Multiple matches or no matches throw an ArgumentException.

The Code

The use of Linq removes the need for a foreach statement and the Take method avoids declaring a local variable for counting purposes. Finally, a switch statement is used instead of nested if blocks.

public static T BestMatch<T>(this Dictionary<string, T> Source, string String)
    T result = default(T);

    if (Source.ContainsKey(String))
        result = Source[String];
        List<string> matches = Source.Keys.Where((s => s.StartsWith(String))).Take(2).ToList();
        switch (matches.Count)
            case 0:
                throw (new ArgumentException("Unrecognized name", String));
            case 1:
                result = Source[matches[0]];
                throw (new ArgumentException("Ambiguous name", String));
    return result;


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

George Swan
Wales Wales
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

QuestionBestMatch should return the Best Match even if there are more than 1 Pinmembertidhar4-Feb-13 22:04 
GeneralRe: BestMatch should return the Best Match even if there are more than 1 PinmemberPIEBALDconsult6-Feb-13 19:03 
GeneralThoughts [modified] PinmemberPIEBALDconsult3-Feb-13 8:53 
GeneralRe: Thoughts PinmemberGeorge Swan6-Feb-13 22:50 
GeneralRe: Thoughts PinmemberPIEBALDconsult7-Feb-13 14:13 

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