user2392209 user2392209 - 4 months ago 114
Python Question

How can I add an element at the top of an OrderedDict in python?

I have this

d1 = OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])

If i do this


Then i get this

OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2'), ('c', '3')])

but i want this

[('c', '3'), ('a', '1'), ('b', '2')]

without creating new Dictionary


There's no built-in way to do this in Python 2 in O(1) time. If you need this, you need to write a prepend() method/function that operates on the OrderedDict internals with O(n) complexity.

For Python 3.2 and later, you can use the move_to_end1 method. The method accepts a last argument which indicates whether the element will be moved to the bottom (last=True) or the top (last=False) of the OrderedDict.

Finally, if you want a quick, dirty and slow solution, you can just create a new OrderedDict from scratch.

Details for the four different solutions:

Extend OrderedDict and add a new instance method

from collections import OrderedDict

class MyOrderedDict(OrderedDict):

    def prepend(self, key, value, dict_setitem=dict.__setitem__):

        root = self._OrderedDict__root
        first = root[1]

        if key in self:
            link = self._OrderedDict__map[key]
            link_prev, link_next, _ = link
            link_prev[1] = link_next
            link_next[0] = link_prev
            link[0] = root
            link[1] = first
            root[1] = first[0] = link
            root[1] = first[0] = self._OrderedDict__map[key] = [root, first, key]
            dict_setitem(self, key, value)


>>> d = MyOrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> d
MyOrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> d.prepend('c', 100)
>>> d
MyOrderedDict([('c', 100), ('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> d.prepend('a', d['a'])
>>> d
MyOrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('c', 100), ('b', '2')])
>>> d.prepend('d', 200)
>>> d
MyOrderedDict([('d', 200), ('a', '1'), ('c', 100), ('b', '2')])

Standalone function that manipulates OrderedDict objects

This function does the same thing by accepting the dict object, key and value. I personally prefer the class:

from collections import OrderedDict

def ordered_dict_prepend(dct, key, value, dict_setitem=dict.__setitem__):
    root = dct._OrderedDict__root
    first = root[1]

    if key in dct:
        link = dct._OrderedDict__map[key]
        link_prev, link_next, _ = link
        link_prev[1] = link_next
        link_next[0] = link_prev
        link[0] = root
        link[1] = first
        root[1] = first[0] = link
        root[1] = first[0] = dct._OrderedDict__map[key] = [root, first, key]
        dict_setitem(dct, key, value)


>>> d = OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> ordered_dict_prepend(d, 'c', 100)
>>> d
OrderedDict([('c', 100), ('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> ordered_dict_prepend(d, 'a', d['a'])
>>> d
OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('c', 100), ('b', '2')])
>>> ordered_dict_prepend(d, 'd', 500)
>>> d
OrderedDict([('d', 500), ('a', '1'), ('c', 100), ('b', '2')])

Use OrderedDict.move_to_end() (Python >= 3.2)

1Python 3.2 introduced the OrderedDict.move_to_end() method. Using it, we can move an existing key to either end of the dictionary in O(1) time.

>>> d1 = OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])
>>> d1.update({'c':'3'})
>>> d1.move_to_end('c', last=False)
>>> d1
OrderedDict([('c', '3'), ('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])

If we need to insert an element and move it to the top, all in one step, we can directly use it to create a prepend() wrapper (not presented here).

Create a new OrderedDict - slow!!!

If you don't want to do that and performance is not an issue then easiest way is to create a new dict:

from itertools import chain, ifilterfalse
from collections import OrderedDict

def unique_everseen(iterable, key=None):
    "List unique elements, preserving order. Remember all elements ever seen."
    # unique_everseen('AAAABBBCCDAABBB') --> A B C D
    # unique_everseen('ABBCcAD', str.lower) --> A B C D
    seen = set()
    seen_add = seen.add
    if key is None:
        for element in ifilterfalse(seen.__contains__, iterable):
            yield element
        for element in iterable:
            k = key(element)
            if k not in seen:
                yield element

d1 = OrderedDict([('a', '1'), ('b', '2'),('c', 4)])
d2 = OrderedDict([('c', 3), ('e', 5)])   #dict containing items to be added at the front
new_dic = OrderedDict((k, d2.get(k, d1.get(k))) for k in \
                                           unique_everseen(chain(d2, d1)))
print new_dic


OrderedDict([('c', 3), ('e', 5), ('a', '1'), ('b', '2')])