Parker de Waal Parker de Waal - 6 months ago 27
Python Question

Unable to subtract specific fields within structured numpy arrays

While trying to subtract to fields within a structured numpy array, the following error occurs:

In [8]: print serPos['pos'] - hisPos['pos']
Traceback (most recent call last) <ipython-input-8-8a22559cfb2d> in <module>()
----> 1 print serPos['pos'] - hisPos['pos']

TypeError: ufunc 'subtract' did not contain a loop with signature matching types
dtype([('x', '<f8'), ('y', '<f8'), ('z', '<f8')])
dtype([('x', '<f8'), ('y', '<f8'), ('z', '<f8')])
dtype([('x', '<f8'), ('y', '<f8'), ('z', '<f8')])

Given the standard float dtype, why would I be unable to perform this subtraction?

To reproduce these conditions, the following example code is provided:

import numpy as np

raw = np.dtype([('residue', int),
('pos', [('x', float),
('y', float),
('z', float)])])

serPos = np.empty([0,2],dtype=raw)
hisPos = np.empty([0,2],dtype=raw)

serPos = np.append(serPos, np.array([(1,(1,2,3))], dtype=raw))
hisPos = np.append(hisPos, np.array([(1,(1,2,3))], dtype=raw))

print serPos['pos'], hisPos['pos'] # prints fine
print serPos['pos'] - hisPos['pos'] # errors with ufunc error

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


The dtype for serPos['pos'] is compound

dtype([('x', '<f8'), ('y', '<f8'), ('z', '<f8')])

subtraction (and other such operations) has not been defined for compound dtype. It doesn't work for the raw dtype either.

You could subtract the individual fields


I think we can also view serPos['pos'] as a 2d array (3 columns) and subtract that form. But I need to test the syntax.