The code below is intended to provide SQL's GROUPING SETS functionality in Python with the aid of Pandas.


There are at least two advantages to doing this in Python:

  • it is less verbose than SQL, and
  • it provides a non-redundant set of aggregations without the need to manually specify them.

There is at least one disadvantage to doing this in Python:

  • memory usage is quite likely higher than would be in SQL.

I am posting this question in the hopes that the code can be cleaned up. Secondarily I am posting to determine if anyone would find this useful. The example below has been tested with Python 2.7.6 and Pandas 0.15.1.

from __future__ import division, print_function

import itertools as it
import pandas as pd

from pandas.util.testing import assert_frame_equal

def powerset(iterable): 
    "powerset([1,2,3]) --> () (1,) (2,) (3,) (1,2) (1,3) (2,3) (1,2,3)"
    s = list(iterable)
    return it.chain.from_iterable(it.combinations(s,r) for r in range(len(s)+1))

def grouper(df,grpby=None,aggfunc=None):
    ''' produces aggregate DataFrame from DataFrames for non-redundant groupings
       `workingdf` is used to avoid modifying original DataFrame
    uniqcols = (i for i in grpby if len(df[i].unique()) == 1)
    pwrset = (i for i in powerset(grpby))
    s = set()
    for uniqcol in uniqcols:
        for i in pwrset:
            if uniqcol in i:
                s.add(i) # add a level of aggregation only when non-redundant

    workingdf = df.copy()
    #for idx,i in enumerate(powerset(grpby)):
    for idx,i in enumerate(s):
        print('  grouping by: {}'.format(i))
        if i != (): 
            tmp = aggfunc( workingdf.groupby(i) )
            # hack to get output to be a DataFrameGroupBy object:
            #   insert dummy column on which to group by
            # old, naive code:
            #   tmp = aggfunc( workingdf )
            dummycolname = hash(tuple(workingdf.columns.tolist()))
            workingdf[dummycolname] = ''
            tmp = aggfunc( workingdf.groupby(dummycolname) )

        # drop the index and add it back
        if i == (): tmp.reset_index(drop=True,inplace=True)
        else: tmp.reset_index(inplace=True)

        for j in grpby: 
            if j not in tmp: # if column is not in DataFrame add it
                tmp[j] = '(All)'

        # new list with all columns including aggregate ones; do this only once
        if idx == 0:
            finalcols = grpby[:]
            addlcols = [k for k in tmp if k not in grpby] # aggregate columns 

        # reorder columns 
        tmp = tmp[finalcols] 

        # creation of final DataFrame
        if idx == 0:
            final = tmp; del tmp
            final = pd.concat( [final,tmp] ); del tmp

    del workingdf

    final = final.sort(columns=finalcols)

    return final

def agg(grpbyobj):
    ''' the purpose of this function is to: 
          specify aggregate operation(s) you wish to perform, 
          name the resulting column(s) in the final DataFrame.
    tmp = pd.DataFrame()
    tmp['Total (n)'] = grpbyobj['Total'].sum()
    return tmp

if __name__ == '__main__':
    df = pd.DataFrame({'Area':['a','a','b',],
    final = grouper(df,grpby=['Area','Year'],aggfunc=agg)

    # test against expected result 
    expected = '''{"Area":{"0":"(All)","1":"a","2":"b"},
                   "Total (n)":{"0":15,"1":9,"2":6}}'''
    testfinal = pd.read_json(expected)
    testfinal = testfinal[final.columns.tolist()] # reorder columns 
        # check_names kwarg True: compare indexes and columns 
    except AssertionError as e:

1 Answer 1


About this part:

def grouper(df,grpby=None,aggfunc=None):
    uniqcols = (i for i in grpby if len(df[i].unique()) == 1)
    pwrset = (i for i in powerset(grpby))
    s = set()
    for uniqcol in uniqcols:
        for i in pwrset:
            if uniqcol in i:
                s.add(i) # add a level of aggregation only when non-redundant
  • The two optional arguments are in fact required by the function.
  • The convention is that i is a loop variable of type int.
  • Bug: pwrset is a generator expression. As such it can only be iterated through once, just like the iterator returned from powerset(grpby). Using square brackets [] instead of () would turn it into a list comprehension and fix the bug.
  • Changing the other generator expression into a list comprehension would allow you to swap the order of the nested for loops. This would be more natural since the nested loop is filtering pwrset, and more efficient because you could break out of the inner loop after first s.add(i). Then s does not even need to be a set (because the rest of the code merely iterates over s). If you make uniqcols a set instead, the inner loop could be avoided altogether.

Revised code:

def grouper(df, grpby, aggfunc):
    uniqcols = set(col for col in grpby if len(df[col].unique()) == 1)
    s = [cols for cols in powerset(grpby) if not uniqcols.isdisjoint(cols)]

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