Python Counting Tutorial | Counting In Python Tutorial

Counting: Counting all occurrence of all items in an
iterable: collections.Counter

from collections import Counter
c = Counter(["a", "b", "c", "d", "a", "b", "a", "c", "d"])
Out: Counter({'a': 3, 'b': 2, 'c': 2, 'd': 2}) c["a"]
Out: 3
c[7] # not in the list (7 occurred 0 times!)

Out: 0

The collections.Counter can be used for any iterable and counts every occurrence for every element.

Note: One exception is if a dict or another collections.Mapping-like class is given, then it will not count them, rather it creates a Counter with these values:

Counter({"e": 2})

Out: Counter({“e”: 2})

Counter({"e": "e"}) # warning Counter does not verify the values are int

Out: Counter({“e”: “e”})

Section 73.2: Getting the most common value(-s):

Counting the keys of a Mapping isn’t possible with collections.Counter but we can count the values:

from collections import Counter
adict = {'a': 5, 'b': 3, 'c': 5, 'd': 2, 'e':2, 'q': 5} Counter(adict.values())

Out: Counter({2: 2, 3: 1, 5: 3})

The most common elements are available by the most_common-method:

Sorting them from most-common to least-common value: Counter(adict.values()).most_common()
Out: [(5, 3), (2, 2), (3, 1)]
Getting the most common value Counter(adict.values()).most_common(1)
Out: [(5, 3)]
Getting the two most common values Counter(adict.values()).most_common(2)
Out: [(5, 3), (2, 2)]

Section 73.3: Counting the occurrences of one item in a
sequence: list.count() and tuple.count()

alist = [1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 1, 3, 4] – Python® Notes for Professionals 368


Out: 3

atuple = ('bear', 'weasel', 'bear', 'frog')
Out: 2 atuple.count('fox')
Out: 0

Section 73.4: Counting the occurrences of a substring in a
string: str.count()

astring = 'thisisashorttext'

Out: 4

This works even for substrings longer than one character:

Out: 1 astring.count('is')
Out: 2 astring.count('text')
Out: 1

which would not be possible with collections.Counter which only counts single characters:

from collections import Counter

Out: Counter({‘a’: 1, ‘e’: 1, ‘h’: 2, ‘i’: 2, ‘o’: 1, ‘r’: 1, ‘s’: 3, ‘t’: 4, ‘x’: 1})

Section 73.5: Counting occurrences in numpy array

To count the occurrences of a value in a numpy array. This will work:

import numpy as np
print np.sum(a==3)

The logic is that the boolean statement produces a array where all occurrences of the requested values are 1 and all others are zero. So summing these gives the number of occurencies. This works for arrays of any shape or dtype.

There are two methods I use to count occurrences of all unique values in numpy. Unique and bincount. Unique automatically flattens multidimensional arrays, while bincount only works with 1d arrays only containing positive integers.

print unique,counts # counts[i] is equal to occurrences of unique[i] in a [03457][12211]
print bin_count # bin_count[i] is equal to occurrences of i in a

If your data are numpy arrays it is generally much faster to use numpy methods then to convert your data to generic methods.


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