sorting a dictionary

Alex Martelli aleax at
Tue Feb 4 10:30:48 CET 2003

Alex Martelli wrote:

> dsavitsk wrote:
> [about getting the largest key -- the "sorting" in the subject
> is a bit of involuntary misdirection by the OP...:-)]
>> def get_highest(d): # don't use the name 'dict'
>>     l = d.keys()
>>     l.sort()
>>     return l[-1]
> This is good, but it's O(N logN) -- if the dictionary is
> huge, you'll be hurting.  max(d) is faster, and follows
> the good rule of not reimplementing something that Python
> already has as a built-in.

Heh -- sorry, I see the OP wanted the *key of the highest
value*, NOT the highest key, which is what dsavitsk's
solution, and max(d), would give.  For the OP's problem,
you can't get any faster than O(N logN).


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