# [Numpy-discussion] can int and float exists in one array?(about difference in indexing Matlab matrix and Numpy array)

Zhang Sam hollowspook at gmail.com
Mon Nov 27 21:51:41 CST 2006

```This is great. I try object array in my program just now. It can do what I
want to do.

Thanks!

2006/11/28, Tim Hochberg <tim.hochberg at ieee.org>:
>
> Zhang Sam wrote:
> > Thanks for so many replies.
> >
> > In fact, I want to use several arrays to store the original data from
> > a practical project. In every arrays, two or three column will be
> > store the index. The main computation is still on matrices(float type)
> > which is built from the original data. When building the main
> > matrix, I need the repeated use of the index stored in the original
> > data. So I hope both int and float can exist in one array with numpy,
> > just for the original data.
> >
> > Before Python, I used matlab and fortran. In matlab, it is just I have
> > said. In fortran, a module can used for storing different data type.
> > I used Python just now, so I don't know which one in python is best
> > for my case. What's the suggestion?
> >
> Here are slightly more fleshed out suggestions:
>
> 1. Break the indices out into a separate matrices. That is in instead of
> one matrix 'x' containing both the indices and and data, have two
> matrices: 'x_indices' of type int and 'x_data' of type float. This is
> probably what I would do, at least given my limited knowledge of the
> problem, since with suitable names for the two indices this is likeliest
> to be the clearest. For example:
>
>    x_indices = np.array([2, 1]), dtype=int)
>    x_data = np.array([[2.5, 3.5], [2.6, 3.5]], dtype=float)
>
> 2. Use record arrays. This allows you to pack different types into a
> single matrix, but you then need to refer to the different fields
> (formerly columns) by name:
>
>        import numpy as np
>        my_dtype = np.dtype([('indices',int), ('data_1', float),
>    ('data_2', float)])
>        x = np.array([(2, 2.5, 3.5), (1, 2.6, 3.5)], dtype=my_dtype)
>
>        print x['indices']
>        print x['data_1']
>        print x['data_2']
>
> Whether this makes any sense will depend on your actual use case.
>
> 3. Use object arrays as already suggested.
>
> There are several other approaches I can think of (for example, if you
> are willing to swap rows and columns, you could create a tuple of
> arrays). However, in the absence of some compelling reason to do
> otherwise, I'd use #1.
>
> -tim
>
>
>
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