akram.bridge - 4 months ago 16

Python Question

I need to write a function that normalizes a vector (finds the unit vector). A vector can be normalized by dividing each individual component of the vector by its magnitude.

The input for this function will be a vector i.e. 1 dimensional list containing 3 integers.

The code follows:

`def my_norml(my_list):`

tot_sum = 0

for item in my_list:

tot_sum = tot_sum + item**2

magng = tot_sum**(1/2)

norml1 = my_list[0]/magng #here i want to use a for loop

norml2 = my_list[1]/magng

norml3 = my_list[2]/magng

return [norml1, norml2,norml3]

Answer

There's a couple of things you could do here.

Initially, let me just point out that `tot_sum = tot_sum + item**2`

can be written more concisely as `tot_sum += item**2`

. To answer your question, you could use a loop to achieve what you want with:

```
ret_list = []
for i in my_list:
ret_list.append(i / magng)
return ret_list
```

But this isn't the best approach. *It is way better to utilize comprehensions* to achieve what you need; also, the `sum`

built-in function can do summing for you instead of you needing to manually perform it with a `for-loop`

:

`magng`

can easily be computed in one line by passing a comprehension to `sum`

. With the comprehension you raise each `item`

to `** 2`

and then immediately divide the summation that `sum`

returns:

```
magng = sum(item**2 for item in my_list) ** (1/2)
```

After this, you can create your new list by again utilizing a comprehension:

```
return [item/magng for item in my_list]
```

Which creates a list out of every `item`

in `my_list`

after dividing it by `magng`

.

Finally, your full function could be reduced to two lines (and one but that would hamper readability):

```
def my_norml(my_list):
magng = sum(item**2 for item in my_list) ** (1/2)
return [item/magng for item in my_list]
```

This is more concise and idiomatic and pretty intuitive too after you've learned comprehensions.