I have been trying to solve the following problem.

Suppose I have the following vector:

`aux1<-c(0,0,0,4,5,0,7,0,0,10,11,12)`

where the numbers represent the number of the row.

I want to calculate the distance between the differents elements of this vector fixing the first component, then the second and so on.

If the element is zero, I do not want to count it, so I put a NA instead. The output I want should look like this:

```
NA NA NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
1 NA NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
3 2 NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
NA NA NA NA NA
6 5 3 NA NA
7 6 4 1
8 7 5 2 1
```

In the first column, I have the difference between the first element different from zero and all other elements, i.e., Matrix[5,1]=5-4=1 and Matrix[12,1]=12-4=8. Also, Matrix[7,2]=7-5=2, where 5 is the second element in the vector non-equal to zero. Notice that Matrix[10,3]=10-7=3, where 7 is third element non-equal to zero, but the seventh element in my vector.

I have tried to do this in a loop. My current code looks like this:

```
M=matrix(nrow=N-1, ncol=N-1))
for (i in 1:N-1){
for (j in 1:N-1){
if(j<=i)
next
else
if(aux1[j]>0)
M[j,i]=aux1[j]-aux1[i]
else
M[j,i]=0
}
}
```

Unfortunately. I have not been able to solve my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Using `sapply`

and `ifelse`

:

```
sapply(head(vv[vv>0],-1),function(y)ifelse(vv-y>0,vv-y,NA))
```

You loop over the positive values (you should also remove the last element), then you extract each value from the original vector. I used `ifelse`

to replace negative values.

```
# [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5]
# [1,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [2,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [3,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [4,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [5,] 1 NA NA NA NA
# [6,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [7,] 3 2 NA NA NA
# [8,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [9,] NA NA NA NA NA
# [10,] 6 5 3 NA NA
# [11,] 7 6 4 1 NA
# [12,] 8 7 5 2 1
```

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