Pattern Matching with SAS

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This tutorial explains how to use regular expression language (pattern matching) with SAS.

Sample Data
data x;
infile datalines truncover;
input name $100.;
How are you, deepanshu
deepanshu is a good boy
My name is deepanshu
Deepanshu Bhalla
Bhalla Deepanshu

Important Functions for Pattern Matching


Searches for a pattern match and returns the position at which the pattern is found.
PRXMATCH (perl-regular-expression, variable_name)
It returns the position at which the string begins. If there is no match, PRXMATCH returns a zero.

Example 1 :
data xx;
set x;
if prxmatch("/Deepanshu/", name) > 0 then flag = 1;
if prxmatch("/Deepanshu/i", name) > 0 then flag1 = 1;
if prxmatch("/^Deepanshu/i", name) > 0 then flag2 = 1;
if prxmatch("/\bDeepanshu\b/i", name) > 0 then flag3 = 1;
if prxmatch("/D[ai]panshu/i", name) > 0 then flag4 = 1;
if prxmatch("/D.panshu/i", name) > 0 then flag5 = 1;
proc print;
Output : Pattern Matching
Important Points

  1. The /i in the regular expression makes search case-insensitive.
  2. The ^ in the regular expression tells SAS to search for the strings that starts with the search-string.
  3. The \b in the regular expression tells SAS to match word boundary.
  4. The \B in the regular expression tells SAS to match non-word boundary.
  5. The [ai] in the regular expression searches any of the characters within the string.
  6. The in the regular expression tells SAS to take any of the characters within the string.
Example 2 : Search Multiple Sub Strings

data temp;
Input company $30.;
TataM Jan
Tata Motor
Reliance World
Reliance Ltd
Reliance Petro
Reliance Global
Vanucoverltd Company
data temp1;
set temp;
if prxmatch("/\b(Tata|Reliance)\b/i",company) > 0;run;

Example 3 : Find Pattern

Suppose you are asked to find strings that contain length of 4 characters. The first character must contain a letter and the remaining characters must contain numeric.
data _null_;
x =  'A345';
x2 = 'A55A';
y =  prxmatch("/^[a-zA-Z][0-9]{3}$/", x);
y2 = prxmatch("/^[a-zA-Z][0-9]{3}$/", x2);
put y= y2=;
2. PRXCHANGE Function

It performs a pattern-matching replacement.
PRXCHANGE(regular-expression, -1, variable) 
Suppose you are asked to replace 'Tata' with 'Tata Group'.
data temp2;
set temp;
Company0 = PrxChange('s/\b(Tata)\b/Tata Group/i' , -1 , strip(company));
proc print;
Note : The 's keyword indicates substitution.
Remove a list of keywords such as Jan, Ltd, Company
Company1 = PrxChange('s/\b(Jan|ltd|Company)\b//i' , -1 , strip(company));

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About Author:

Deepanshu founded ListenData with a simple objective - Make analytics easy to understand and follow. He has close to 7 years of experience in data science and predictive modeling. During his tenure, he has worked with global clients in various domains like retail and commercial banking, Telecom, HR and Automotive.

While I love having friends who agree, I only learn from those who don't.

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