[Numpy-discussion] np.bincount raises MemoryError when given an empty array

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Mon Feb 1 23:02:37 CST 2010

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 11:45 PM, Charles R Harris
<charlesr.harris@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 9:36 PM, David Cournapeau <cournape@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I think this could be considered as a correct answer, the count of any
>> > integer is zero.
>> Maybe, but this shape is random - it would be different in different
>> conditions, as the length of the returned array is just some random
>> memory location.
>> >
>> > Returning an array with one zero, or the empty array or raising an
>> > exception? I don't see much of a pattern
>> Since there is no obvious solution, the only rationale for not raising
>> an exception  I could see is to accommodate often-encountered special
>> cases. I find returning [0] more confusing than returning empty
>> arrays, though - maybe there is a usecase I don't know about.
> In this case I would expect an empty input to be a programming error and
> raising an error to be the right thing.

Not necessarily, if you run the bincount over groups in a dataset and
your not sure if every group is actually observed. The main question,
is whether the user needs or wants to check for empty groups before or
after the loop over bincount.

>>> np.sum([])
>>> sum([])
the empty array or the array([0]) can be considered as the default
argument. In this case it is not really a programming error.

Since bincount usually returns redundant zero count unless
np.unique(data) = np.arange(data.max()+1),
array([0]) would also make sense as a minimum answer
>>> np.bincount([7,8,9])
array([0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1])

I use bincount quite a lot but only with fixed sized arrays, so I
never actually used it in this way (yet).


> Chuck
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