# Matrix rotation algorithm - follow-up

In a response to this post I wrote a solution in Python. It passed all the test cases given, so I would like help making it more pythonic and reducing the almost repeated lines.

Link to the source of the question on HackerRank.

# input
M, N, rotations = map(int, input().split())
matrix = []
for row in range(M):
matrix.append(list(map(int, input().split())))

# flatten the rings into a list
layers = int(min(N, M)/2)
ring = [[] for layer in range(layers)]

for level in range(layers):
top = (N-1) - 2 * level
side = (M-1) - 2 * level
for row in range(top):  # right
ring[level].append(matrix[level][level + row])
for col in range(side):  # down
ring[level].append(matrix[level + col][level + top])
for row in range(top):  # left
ring[level].append(matrix[level + side][level + top - row])
for col in range(side):  # up
ring[level].append(matrix[level + side - col][level])

# rotate each layer
for level in range(layers):
r = rotations % len(ring[level])
ring[level] = ring[level][r:] + ring[level][:r]

# fill the array with the rotated elements
for level in range(layers):
top = (N-1) - 2 * level
side = (M-1) - 2 * level
for row in range(top):
matrix[level][level + row] = ring[level].pop(0)  # right
for col in range(side):
matrix[level + col][level + top] = ring[level].pop(0)  # down
for row in range(top):
matrix[level + side][level + top - row] = ring[level].pop(0)  # left
for col in range(side):
matrix[level + side - col][level] = ring[level].pop(0)  # up

# print the rotated matrix
for row in range(M):
for col in range(N):
print(matrix[row][col], "", end="")
print()

• Don't forget to accept one of the answers, or comment on why you don't find any of the current answers good enough for acception. Feb 28, 2016 at 19:09

### List comprehensions

Whenever you see a list initialization to [], later filled in by .append(...) calls in a loop, consider rewriting with a list comprehension. For example:

matrix = []
for row in range(M):
matrix.append(list(map(int, input().split())))


Can be rewritten on a single line:

matrix = [list(map(int, input().split())) for _ in range(M)]


Note that I renamed row to _, this is a common convention when then loop variable is unused.

Another example of that is this list comprehension later in your code:

ring = [[] for layer in range(layers)]


Like earlier, rename layer to _:

ring = [[] for _ in range(layers)]


### Integer division with //

layers = int(min(N, M)/2)


Another, a more natural way to achieve the same effect using integer division with //:

layers = min(N, M) // 2


### Coding style

The body of this for-loop is overindented:

# rotate each layer
for level in range(layers):
r = rotations % len(ring[level])
ring[level] = ring[level][r:] + ring[level][:r]


Possibly it's a result of the copy-pasting? Either way, a PEP8 checker would catch this. It's recommended to use four spaces for an indent level, and to use only spaces and never tabs for indenting code.

### Reducing duplicated code

The current implementation works like this:

1. put each layer into ring
2. rotate the values in each layer in ring
3. overwrite the layers in the matrix from ring

Step 1 and 3 have very similar code, as you yourself noticed. One way to reduce that is to implement shifting in-place, without using the additional storage ring, by doing something like this ($k$ is the number of rotations):

1. save the first $k$ items in a list
2. overwrite the $i$-th values by the $(i+k)$-th values. The last $k$ values will come from the values we saved in the previous step.

Easier said than done? Yes. Calculating the $(i + k)$-th position will be tricky.

I'd say your original implementation with the similar lines is fine: it's easy to understand, and it passed the tests anyway.