mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg>

Categories: functors, adaptors Component type: type


Mem_fun1_ref_t is an adaptor for member functions. If X is some class with a member function Result X::f(Arg) (that is, a member function that takes one argument of type Arg and that returns a value of type Result [1]), then a mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg> is a function object adaptor that makes it possible to call f as if it were an ordinary function instead of a member function.

Mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg>'s constructor takes a pointer to one of X's member functions. Then, like all function objects, mem_fun1_ref_t has an operator() that allows the mem_fun1_ref_t to be invoked with ordinary function call syntax. In this case, mem_fun1_ref_t's operator() takes two arguments; the first is of type X and the second is of type Arg.

If F is a mem_fun1_ref_t that was constructed to use the member function X::f, and if x is an object of type X and a is a value of type Arg, then the expression F(x, a) is equivalent to the expression x.f(a). The difference is simply that F can be passed to STL algorithms whose arguments must be function objects.

Mem_fun1_ref_t is one of a family of member function adaptors. These adaptors are useful if you want to combine generic programming with inheritance and polymorphism, since, in C++, polymorphism involves calling member functions through pointers or references. In fact, though, mem_fun1_ref_t is usually not as useful as mem_fun1_t. The difference between the two is that mem_fun1_t's first argument is a pointer to an object while mem_fun1_ref_t's argument is a reference to an object. References, unlike pointers, can't be stored in STL containers: pointers are objects in their own right, but references are merely aliases.

As with many other adaptors, it is usually inconvenient to use mem_fun1_ref_t's constructor directly. It is usually better to use the helper function mem_fun_ref [2] instead.


Given a vector of vectors, extract one element from each vector.
int main() {
  int A1[5] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
  int A2[5] = {1, 1, 2, 3, 5};
  int A3[5] = {1, 4, 1, 5, 9};

  vector<vector<int> > V;
  V.push_back(vector<int>(A1, A1 + 5));
  V.push_back(vector<int>(A2, A2 + 5));
  V.push_back(vector<int>(A3, A3 + 5));

  int indices[3] = {0, 2, 4};

  int& (vector<int>::*extract)(vector<int>::size_type);
  extract = vector<int>::operator[];
  transform(V.begin(), V.end(), indices,
            ostream_iterator<int>(cout, "\n"),


Defined in the standard header functional, and in the nonstandard backward-compatibility header function.h.

Template parameters

Parameter Description Default
Result The member function's return type.  
X The class whose member function the mem_fun1_ref_t invokes.  
Arg The member function's argument type.  

Model of

Adaptable Binary Function

Type requirements

Public base classes

binary_function<X, Arg, Result>


Member Where defined Description
first_argument_type Adaptable Binary Function The type of the first argument: X
second_argument_type Adaptable Binary Function The type of the second argument: Arg
result_type Adaptable Binary Function The type of the result: Result
Result operator()(X& x, Arg a) const
Binary Function Function call operator. Invokes x.f(a), where f is the member function that was passed to the constructor.
explicit mem_fun1_ref_t(Result (X::*f)(Arg))
mem_fun1_ref_t See below.
template <class Result, class X, class Arg>
mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg>
mem_fun_ref(Result (X::*f)(Arg)); [2]
mem_fun1_ref_t See below.

New members

These members are not defined in the Adaptable Binary Function requirements, but are specific to mem_fun1_ref_t.
Member Description
explicit mem_fun1_ref_t(Result (X::*f)(Arg))
The constructor. Creates a mem_fun1_ref_t that calls the member function f.
template <class Result, class X, class Arg>
mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg>
mem_fun1_ref(Result (X::*f)(Arg)); [2]
If f is of type Result (X::*)(Arg) then mem_fun_ref(f) is the same as mem_fun1_ref_t<Result, X, Arg>(f), but is more convenient. This is a global function, not a member function.


[1] The type Result is permitted to be void. That is, this adaptor may be used for functions that return no value. However, this presents implementation difficulties. According to the draft C++ standard, it is possible to return from a void function by writing return void instead of just return. At present, however (early 1998), very few compilers support that feature. As a substitute, then, mem_fun1_ref_t uses partial specialization to support void member functions. If your compiler has not implemented partial specialization, then you will not be able to use mem_fun1_ref_t with member functions whose return type is void.

[2] This helper function was called mem_fun1_ref in drafts of the C++ standard, but it is called mem_fun_ref in the final standard. This implementation provides both versions for backward compatibility, but mem_fun1_ref will be removed in a future release.

See also

mem_fun_t, mem_fun_ref_t, mem_fun1_t
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