Rapid Rapid - 1 year ago 70
Python Question

How do I find the difference between two values without knowing which is larger?

I was wondering if there was a function built into Python that can determine the distance o between to rational numbers but without me telling it which number is larger.



Obviously I could write a simple definition to calculate which is larger and then just do a simple subtraction

def distance(x, y):
if x >= y:
result = x - y
result = y - x
return result

but I'd rather not have to call an in house function like this, from my limited experience I've often found Python has a built in function or a module that does exactly what you want and quicker than your code does it. Hopefully someone can tell me there is a built in function that can do this.

Answer Source

abs(x-y) will do exactly what you're looking for:

In [1]: abs(1-2)
Out[1]: 1

In [2]: abs(2-1)
Out[2]: 1
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