Any way to assign values to objects specified by index?

Pretty sure the answer is ‘no’ but thought I’d see if there’s any bright ideas.
I have a set of N objects (matrices, vectors, whatever – different structures) and a vector of values. I’d like to assign the vector of values to the N objects, according to a corresponding vector of indices representing the object and indices within the object to assign to.

I currently do this separately for each of the N objects, but it’s ugly.

It’s a bit hard to tell what you’re asking for. If you posted the code for your current “ugly” solution, that may clarify things.

Not sure if everything is correct but this gives the idea. I’d like to create bob and jane without repeated code / separate loops.

  real tform(real rawpar, int whichtransform){
    real tpar;
    if(whichtransform==1) tpar = exp(rawpar) else tpar = inv_logit(tpar)
  int npars;
  matrix[4,4] bobstructure;
  matrix[3,4] janestructure;
  vector[npars] rawparvec;
transformed parameters{
  matrix[2,2] bob;
  vector[3] jane;
  for(rowi in 1:nrows(bobstructure)){
    bob[ bobstructure[rowi,1], bobstructure[rowi,2] ] = 
      tform( rawparvec[bobstructure[rowi,3]], bobstructure[rowi,4] )
  for(rowi in 1:nrows(janestructure)){
    jane[ janestructure[rowi,1], janestructure[rowi,2] ] = 
      tform( rawparvec[janestructure[rowi,3]], janestructure[rowi,4] )

Aside from the tpar = inv_logit(tpar) bit, which I gather is supposed to be tpar = inv_logit(rawpar), and using two indices to index into a vector (which I gather is not something that happens in your real code), I don’t see anything that looks particularly ugly. About the only repetition in the code that I see is the structure of the for loops, and I don’t think there’s much that you can do about that.

it’s a small example to explain the question – do you really need me to copy the bob and jane creation loops a bunch of times, and do extra checks etc on the inside of the loop, to show how it looks? Arrays are handy for basically the same reason. I guess in the end I’m asking about a list like functionality, which clearly doesn’t exist, but I’d still be happy to hear other ideas.

I don’t think this is possible without some number of: lists / function applicators / dynamic types. You could switch all your data structures to n-d arrays and write some kind of function that takes the arrays and applies the tform function. but then your transformed parameters block just looks like

transformed parameters {
  matrix[2,2] bob;
  vector[3] jane;

  bob = sort_of_function_apply(bobstructure, rawparvec);
  jane = sort_of_function_apply(janestructure, rawparvec); 

where yo do all the computation you are currently doing inside that function.

You loose all the type information though / end up having to write loops instead of using matrix multiplications where possible.

Edit: I don’t actually think you can do this either, because you need to declare in the function signature the number of dimensions of the n-d array. Probably not possible.