# index of min element of sequence

Discussion in 'Python' started by Neal Becker, Jan 21, 2008.

1. ### Neal BeckerGuest

What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
sequence? (I'm fairly sure sorting the sequence is not the fastest
approach)

Neal Becker, Jan 21, 2008

2. ### Peter OttenGuest

Neal Becker wrote:

> What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
> sequence? (I'm fairly sure sorting the sequence is not the fastest
> approach)

>>> items = "defbhkamnz"
>>> min(xrange(len(items)), key=items.__getitem__)

6
>>> items[6]

'a'

Peter

Peter Otten, Jan 21, 2008

3. ### Paul RubinGuest

Neal Becker <> writes:
> What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
> sequence? (I'm fairly sure sorting the sequence is not the fastest
> approach)

Python 2.5 (untested):

from operator import itemgetter
minindex = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))[1]

Paul Rubin, Jan 21, 2008
4. ### Roger MillerGuest

On Jan 21, 8:48 am, Peter Otten <> wrote:

> Neal Becker wrote:
> > What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
> > sequence?

....

> >>> min(xrange(len(items)), key=items.__getitem__)

....

Or just
items.index(min(items))
I found this to be significantly faster in a simple test (searching a
list of 1000 ints with the minimum in the middle), despite the fact
that it requires two passes. I'm sure that one could find cased where
Peter's approach is faster, so you if you are concerned about speed
you should measure with your own data.

Roger Miller, Jan 21, 2008
5. ### John MachinGuest

On Jan 22, 6:38 am, Paul Rubin <http://> wrote:
> Neal Becker <> writes:
> > What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
> > sequence? (I'm fairly sure sorting the sequence is not the fastest
> > approach)

>
> Python 2.5 (untested):
>
> from operator import itemgetter
> minindex = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))[1]

Bzzzt!

>>> seq = [1000, 9, 8, 7, 2000, 3000]
>>> from operator import itemgetter
>>> minindex = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))[1]
>>> minindex

7
>>> min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))

(3, 7)

s/[1]/[0]/ or more generally:

minindex, minvalue = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))

John Machin, Jan 21, 2008
6. ### Peter OttenGuest

Roger Miller wrote:

> On Jan 21, 8:48 am, Peter Otten <> wrote:
>
>> Neal Becker wrote:
>> > What's a good/fast way to find the index of the minimum element of a
>> > sequence?

> ...
>
>> >>> min(xrange(len(items)), key=items.__getitem__)

> ...
>
> Or just
> items.index(min(items))
> I found this to be significantly faster in a simple test (searching a
> list of 1000 ints with the minimum in the middle), despite the fact
> that it requires two passes. I'm sure that one could find cased where
> Peter's approach is faster, so you if you are concerned about speed
> you should measure with your own data.

I suppose those cases are rare (slow equality check), and even then I
might prefer your solution because it's so much clearer.

Peter

Peter Otten, Jan 21, 2008
7. ### Paul RubinGuest

John Machin <> writes:
> s/[1]/[0]/ or more generally:

Oops, got two spellings confused. Originally was going to use

from itertools import count, izip
min(izip(seq, count()))[1]

but did it with enumerate instead. I don't know which is actually
faster.

> minindex, minvalue = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))

Cool, I like this best of all. Or alternatively,

minindex, minvalue = min(izip(seq, count()))

Paul Rubin, Jan 21, 2008
8. ### John MachinGuest

On Jan 22, 7:56 am, Paul Rubin <http://> wrote:
> John Machin <> writes:
> > s/[1]/[0]/ or more generally:

>
> Oops, got two spellings confused. Originally was going to use
>
> from itertools import count, izip
> min(izip(seq, count()))[1]
>
> but did it with enumerate instead. I don't know which is actually
> faster.
>
> > minindex, minvalue = min(enumerate(seq), key=itemgetter(1))

>
> Cool, I like this best of all. Or alternatively,
>
> minindex, minvalue = min(izip(seq, count()))

Bzzzt #2!

>>> from itertools import count, izip
>>> min(izip(seq, count()))

(7, 3)

John Machin, Jan 21, 2008
9. ### Paul RubinGuest

John Machin <> writes:
> >>> from itertools import count, izip
> >>> min(izip(seq, count()))

> (7, 3)

Serves me right for cutting and pasting.

minvalue, minindex = min(izip(seq, count()))

Paul Rubin, Jan 21, 2008