blue_note blue_note - 1 month ago 8
Python Question

numpy: formal definition of "array_like" objects?

In numpy, the constructors of many objects accept an "array_like" as first argument. Is there a definition of a such object, either as an abstract meta class, or documentation of the methods is should contain??

Answer

There is no formal definition of array-like beyond the nearly tautological one -- an array-like is any Python object that np.array can convert to an ndarray.

To go beyond this, you'd need to study the source code.

NPY_NO_EXPORT PyObject *
PyArray_FromAny(PyObject *op, PyArray_Descr *newtype, int min_depth,
                int max_depth, int flags, PyObject *context)
{
    /*
     * This is the main code to make a NumPy array from a Python
     * Object.  It is called from many different places.
     */
    PyArrayObject *arr = NULL, *ret;
    PyArray_Descr *dtype = NULL;
    int ndim = 0;
    npy_intp dims[NPY_MAXDIMS];

    /* Get either the array or its parameters if it isn't an array */
    if (PyArray_GetArrayParamsFromObject(op, newtype,
                        0, &dtype,
                        &ndim, dims, &arr, context) < 0) {
        Py_XDECREF(newtype);
        return NULL;
    }
    ...

Particularly interesting is PyArray_GetArrayParamsFromObject, whose comments enumerate the types of objects np.array expects:

NPY_NO_EXPORT int
PyArray_GetArrayParamsFromObject(PyObject *op,
                        PyArray_Descr *requested_dtype,
                        npy_bool writeable,
                        PyArray_Descr **out_dtype,
                        int *out_ndim, npy_intp *out_dims,
                        PyArrayObject **out_arr, PyObject *context)
{
    PyObject *tmp;

    /* If op is an array */

    /* If op is a NumPy scalar */

    /* If op is a Python scalar */

    /* If op supports the PEP 3118 buffer interface */

    /* If op supports the __array_struct__ or __array_interface__ interface */

    /*
     * If op supplies the __array__ function.
     * The documentation says this should produce a copy, so
     * we skip this method if writeable is true, because the intent
     * of writeable is to modify the operand.
     * XXX: If the implementation is wrong, and/or if actual
     *      usage requires this behave differently,
     *      this should be changed!
     */

    /* Try to treat op as a list of lists */

}

So by studying the source code we can conclude an array-like is