Functional Programming

Functional Interfaces in Java (Lambda)

Every Lambda expression has 3 parts: 1. () Argument List 2. -> token 3. { } Body

Lambda expressions only work for Functional Interfaces. eg: 1. Runnable and Callable (Multi-threading) 2. ActionListener (GUIs) 3. Comparable and Comparator (Sorting objects, Pure Functional Interface)

Comparator <Employee> nameComparator = (a, b) -> a.getName().compareTo(b.getName());

Functional Interfaces, by Function Type

Function TypeFunction Name
nothing -> TSupplier
T -> nothingConsumer
T -> TUnary Operator
T, T -> TBinary Operator
S -> TFunction
T -> booleanPredicate

What is the real use of Lambdas and Method References ?

  • They are 2 handy ways to pass code around.
  • Lambdas for short snippets of code.
  • Method References for longer pieces of code for methods that are already part of a larger architecture.


Unlike external iteration in for and while loops, java streams uses internal iteration, meaning apply some operation on every object of the sequence. You pass a functional object to the forEach method and the forEach method takes care of iteration. It is internal because the responsibility of iteration lies within the collection, in this case stream. ie responsibility shifts from client to stream library.

Employee [] emps = { emp1, emp2, emp3 ..}>e.getSalary() >= 2500)
Stream.of(emps).filter ....

Stream Operations

  • filter: is to filter the result based on predicate
  • map: is to extract based on the given method on object
  • sorted: is to sort
  • forEach: is terminal operator to print

Stream Characteristics

  • Streams can be ordered or unordered.
    • Streams from lists are ordered. Streams from sets are unordered
  • Streams can be sequential or parallel.
  • Streams can only be traversed Once.

Filtering Operations of Java Streams

  • Based on Content : filter, takeWhile, dropWhile (takeWhile & dropWhile makes sense for ordered streams)
  • Based on Amount: limit
  • Based on Uniqueness: distinct

distinct() operation on streams

  • It is better to operate distinct() operation on as few elements as possible as it is more complex.
  • It is one of the few stateful intermediate operations.
  • It does not operate independently on each element.
  • Harder to parallelize.

Terminal Operations in Stream

Return TypeFunction
voidforEach, forEachOrdered, peek (intermediate operation, for debugging)
booleanallMatch, anyMatch, noneMatch
TfindFirst, findAny, min, max

Examples of Java Stream Operations

Q. Print names of 10 employees with the highest salary using java stream

A. emps.sorted(Comparator.comparingInt(Employee::getSalary).reversed())

Q. Count the number of distinct integers in a list using java stream

long n = list.parallelStream(). (this stream is natunally ordered(from List))
.unordered(). (relaxing the order gives significant speedup)

Q. List to Map using java stream

Extract map with departmentId as key and List<employeeId> as values:
Map<Long, List<Long>> deptIdToEmpIdMap =