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Python program to apply itertools.product to elements of a list of lists

  • Last Updated : 27 Feb, 2020

Itertools is a module that consists of the methods to apply various iteration based operations including combinations, permutations, etc., on the iterable components in Python. It has a set lightweight, memory-efficient and fast tools for performing iterator algebra.

Note: For more information, refer to Python Itertools

itertools.product()

It is used to perform cartesian product within a list or among lists. The nested loops cycle in a way that the rightmost element advancing on every iteration. This pattern creates a lexicographic ordering and thus if the input’s iterables are sorted, the product tuples are also in sorted order.

It takes iterables as the parameter. The below example shows a very simple representation of itertools.product() method. Here it is used as a creation of a cartesian product.

Example:




import itertools
  
  
def product(str1, str2):
      
    # returning the list containing 
    # cartesian product
    return [x for x in itertools.product(list(str1),
                                         list(str2))]
  
print(product("GfG", "GFG"))

Output:

[(‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘F’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’)]

Operating on list of lists

To use itertools.product() method on list of lists, perform unpacking operation first. It can be done using two ways:

  • By unpacking the list inside function

    The example below shows that how can unpacking be performed by simple operation within the method.




    import itertools
      
      
    def product(list_of_str):
          
        str1 = list_of_str[0]
        str2 = list_of_str[1]
          
        # returning the list 
        # containing cartesian product
        return [x for x in itertools.product(list(str1),
                                             list(str2))]
      
    print(product(["GfG", "GFG"]))

    Output

    [(‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘F’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’)]

    The disadvantage of this way is that, it requires additional information to be known i.e the length of the list inside the lists.

  • Using ‘*’ operator

    To overcome the above mentioned disadvantage ‘*’ is used to unpack the lists within the list. So the above code can be optimized as follows:




    import itertools
      
      
    def product(lst):
          
        # Unpack operation performed
        # by '*' operator and returning
        # the list containing cartesian
        # product
        return [x for x in itertools.product(*lst)]
      
      
    # list of lists being passed in the method
    print(product(["GfG", "GFG"]))

    Output

    [(‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘f’, ‘F’), (‘f’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘G’), (‘G’, ‘F’), (‘G’, ‘G’)]


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