NumPy

numpy.lexsort

numpy.lexsort(keys, axis=-1)

Perform an indirect stable sort using a sequence of keys.

Given multiple sorting keys, which can be interpreted as columns in a spreadsheet, lexsort returns an array of integer indices that describes the sort order by multiple columns. The last key in the sequence is used for the primary sort order, the second-to-last key for the secondary sort order, and so on. The keys argument must be a sequence of objects that can be converted to arrays of the same shape. If a 2D array is provided for the keys argument, it’s rows are interpreted as the sorting keys and sorting is according to the last row, second last row etc.

Parameters
keys(k, N) array or tuple containing k (N,)-shaped sequences

The k different “columns” to be sorted. The last column (or row if keys is a 2D array) is the primary sort key.

axisint, optional

Axis to be indirectly sorted. By default, sort over the last axis.

Returns
indices(N,) ndarray of ints

Array of indices that sort the keys along the specified axis.

See also

argsort

Indirect sort.

ndarray.sort

In-place sort.

sort

Return a sorted copy of an array.

Examples

Sort names: first by surname, then by name.

>>> surnames =    ('Hertz',    'Galilei', 'Hertz')
>>> first_names = ('Heinrich', 'Galileo', 'Gustav')
>>> ind = np.lexsort((first_names, surnames))
>>> ind
array([1, 2, 0])
>>> [surnames[i] + ", " + first_names[i] for i in ind]
['Galilei, Galileo', 'Hertz, Gustav', 'Hertz, Heinrich']

Sort two columns of numbers:

>>> a = [1,5,1,4,3,4,4] # First column
>>> b = [9,4,0,4,0,2,1] # Second column
>>> ind = np.lexsort((b,a)) # Sort by a, then by b
>>> ind
array([2, 0, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1])
>>> [(a[i],b[i]) for i in ind]
[(1, 0), (1, 9), (3, 0), (4, 1), (4, 2), (4, 4), (5, 4)]

Note that sorting is first according to the elements of a. Secondary sorting is according to the elements of b.

A normal argsort would have yielded:

>>> [(a[i],b[i]) for i in np.argsort(a)]
[(1, 9), (1, 0), (3, 0), (4, 4), (4, 2), (4, 1), (5, 4)]

Structured arrays are sorted lexically by argsort:

>>> x = np.array([(1,9), (5,4), (1,0), (4,4), (3,0), (4,2), (4,1)],
...              dtype=np.dtype([('x', int), ('y', int)]))
>>> np.argsort(x) # or np.argsort(x, order=('x', 'y'))
array([2, 0, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1])

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