c++ computing a new vector which has deltas from an existing vector

I'm working on learning C++ STL algorithms. I need help trying to find a function to create a vector of deltas from values in an existing vector. In other words:

  • delta0 = abs(original1 - original0)
  • delta1 = abs(original2 - original1)
  • and so on.

I'm looking for something concise, like R's "diff" function mentioned here: computing a new vector which has deltas from an existing vector

I found the transform function but it seemed to operate on a single element at a time. It didn't seem to allow parameters of iterator in the function supplied to transform so I was limited to the current element only. I'm trying to learn STL algorithms so I don't really need any libraries that may have "diff" implemented. I would just like to see a way to use STL functions to solve this if there is a concise way I'm not aware of.

Here is an example with the section in question commented:

#include <iostream>
#include <vector>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    vector<int> v = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
    vector<int> delta;

    // way to do this with STL algorithms?
    for (auto i = v.begin()+1; i != v.end(); i++) {
        delta.push_back(abs(*i - *(i - 1)));
    for (int i : delta) {
        cout << i << " ";
    return 0;


std::transform(std::next(v.begin()), v.end(),
               v.begin(), delta.begin(),
               [](int a, int b){ return std::abs(a - b); });

You simply missed the second version of transform. Take a look at it here.

See that code in action online!

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