constucting a lookup table

Larry Bates larry.bates at websafe.com
Tue May 16 17:36:04 CEST 2006


mhodkin at comcast.net wrote:
> I'm new to Python and want to contruct a "lookup table" which would be
> similar to a spreadsheet in that a value is read along the first
> column, then along the top row, and the intersection of the two gives a
> value that is hard-coded, i.e. not mathmatically related.  An example
> would be a table with HEIGHT in the first column, WEIGHT in the first
> row, and estimated SUITSIZE with the body of the table.
> 
> Which Python type would be most appropriate and/or efficient?
> 
> thanks
> 
I would not worry about being "efficient" at this point.  There are not
enough combinations of height/weight to make even a linear search through
a list be a performance problem.  One way would be to set up a dictionary
that is keyed on height/weight and have it return suit size.  To work
properly you would need to express height in inches and weight in pounds
(in US measurements).  Something like:

hwdict={(60, 80): <suite size for 5 ft 0 inch person weighing 80 lbs>,
        (61, 80): <suite size for 5 ft 1 inch person weighing 80 lbs>,
        (62, 80): <suite size for 5 ft 0 inch person weighing 80 lbs>,
        .
        .
        .
        (88, 400): <suite size for 7 ft 4 inch person weighing 400 lbs>}

This would be fast because lookup would consist of only (not tested):

try:  suitsize=hwdict[(heightininches, weightinpounds)]
except IndexError:
     print "height/weight combination not found in lookup table"


-Larry Bates






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