[Numpy-discussion] suggestion for generalizing numpy functions

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Wed Jun 24 14:37:40 CDT 2009


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 8:52 AM, Darren Dale<dsdale24@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 9:42 AM, Charles R Harris
> <charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 7:08 AM, Darren Dale<dsdale24@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM, Darren Dale <dsdale24@gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Now that numpy-1.3 has been released, I was hoping I could engage the
>> >> numpy developers and community concerning my suggestion to improve the
>> >> ufunc
>> >> wrapping mechanism. Currently, ufuncs call, on the way out, the
>> >> __array_wrap__ method of the input array with the highest
>> >> __array_priority__.
>> >>
>> >> There are use cases, like masked arrays or arrays with units, where it
>> >> is
>> >> imperative to run some code on the way in to the ufunc as well.
>> >> MaskedArrays
>> >> do this by reimplementing or wrapping ufuncs, but this approach puts
>> >> some
>> >> pretty severe constraints on subclassing. For example, in my Quantities
>> >> package I have a Quantity object that derives from ndarray. It has been
>> >> suggested that in order to make ufuncs work with Quantity, I should
>> >> wrap
>> >> numpy's built-in ufuncs. But I intend to make a MaskedQuantity object
>> >> as
>> >> well, deriving from MaskedArray, and would therefore have to wrap the
>> >> MaskedArray ufuncs as well.
>> >>
>> >> If ufuncs would simply call a method both on the way in and on the way
>> >> out, I think this would go a long way to improving this situation. I
>> >> whipped
>> >> up a simple proof of concept and posted it in this thread a while back.
>> >> For
>> >> example, a MaskedQuantity would implement a method like __gfunc_pre__
>> >> to
>> >> check the validity of the units operation etc, and would then call
>> >> MaskedArray.__gfunc_pre__ (if defined) to determine the domain etc.
>> >> __gfunc_pre__ would return a dict containing any metadata the
>> >> subclasses
>> >> wish to provide based on the inputs, and that dict would be passed
>> >> along
>> >> with the inputs, output and context to __gfunc_post__, so
>> >> postprocessing can
>> >> be done (__gfunc_post__ replacing __array_wrap__).
>> >>
>> >> Of course, packages like MaskedArray may still wish to reimplement
>> >> ufuncs,
>> >> like Eric Firing is investigating right now. The point is that classes
>> >> that
>> >> dont care about the implementation of ufuncs, that only need to provide
>> >> metadata based on the inputs and the output, can do so using this
>> >> mechanism
>> >> and can build upon other specialized arrays.
>> >>
>> >> I would really appreciate input from numpy developers and other
>> >> interested
>> >> parties. I would like to continue developing the Quantities package
>> >> this
>> >> summer, and have been approached by numerous people interested in using
>> >> Quantities with sage, sympy, matplotlib. But I would prefer to improve
>> >> the
>> >> ufunc mechanism (or establish that there is no interest among the
>> >> community
>> >> to do so) so I can improve the package (or limit its scope) before
>> >> making an
>> >> official announcement.
>> >
>> > There was some discussion of this proposal to allow better interaction
>> > of
>> > ufuncs with ndarray subclasses in another thread (Plans for numpy-1.4.0
>> > and
>> > scipy-0.8.0) and the comments were encouraging. I have been trying to
>> > gather
>> > feedback as to whether the numpy devs were receptive to the idea, and it
>> > seems the answer is tentatively yes, although there were questions about
>> > who
>> > would actually write the code. I guess I have not made clear that I
>> > intend
>> > to write the implementation and tests. I gained some familiarity with
>> > the
>> > relevant code while squashing a few bugs for numpy-1.3, but it would be
>> > helpful if someone else who is familiar with the existing __array_wrap__
>> > machinery would be willing to discuss this proposal in more detail and
>> > offer
>> > constructive criticism along the way. Is anyone willing?
>> >
>>
>> I think Travis would be the only one familiar with that code and that
>> would be from a couple of years back when he wrote it. Most of us have
>> followed the same route as yourself, finding our way into the code by
>> squashing bugs.
>>
>
> Do you mean that you would require Travis to sign off on the implementation
> (assuming he would agree to review my work)? I would really like to avoid a
> situation where I invest the time and then the code bitrots because I can't
> find a route to committing it to svn.
>

No, just that Travis would know the most about that subsystem if you
are looking for help. I and others here can look over the code and
commit it without Travis signing off on it. You could ask for commit
privileges yourself. The important thing is having some tests and an
agreement that the interface is appropriate. Pierre also seems
interested in the functionality so it would be useful for him to say
that it serves his needs also.

Chuck


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