How to sort Counter by value using python

0 votes

Other than doing list comprehensions of reversed list comprehension, is there a pythonic way to sort Counter by value? If so, it is faster than this:

>>> from collections import Counter
>>> x = Counter({'a':5, 'b':3, 'c':7})
>>> sorted(x)
['a', 'b', 'c']
>>> sorted(x.items())
[('a', 5), ('b', 3), ('c', 7)]
>>> [(l,k) for k,l in sorted([(j,i) for i,j in x.items()])]
[('b', 3), ('a', 5), ('c', 7)]
>>> [(l,k) for k,l in sorted([(j,i) for i,j in x.items()], reverse=True)]
[('c', 7), ('a', 5), ('b', 3)
May 22, 2018 in Python by aryya
• 7,420 points
6,442 views

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

Use the Counter.most_common() method, it'll sort the items for you:

>>> from collections import Counter
>>> x = Counter({'a':5, 'b':3, 'c':7})
>>> x.most_common()
[('c', 7), ('a', 5), ('b', 3)]

It'll do so in the most efficient manner possible; if you ask for a Top N instead of all values, a heapqis used instead of a straight sort:

>>> x.most_common(1)
[('c', 7)]

Outside of counters, sorting can always be adjusted based on a key function; .sort() and sorted() both take callable that lets you specify a value on which to sort the input sequence; sorted(x, key=x.get, reverse=True) would give you the same sorting as x.most_common(), but only return the keys, for example:

>>> sorted(x, key=x.get, reverse=True)
['c', 'a', 'b']

or you can sort on only the value given (key, value) pairs:

>>> sorted(x.items(), key=lambda pair: pair[1], reverse=True)
[('c', 7), ('a', 5), ('b', 3)]

See the Python sorting howto for more information.

answered May 22, 2018 by charlie_brown
• 7,780 points

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