A context manager for temporary memoization.

Michael Speer knomenet at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 21:20:11 CET 2007

I posted this to my blog at

I decided to forward it onto the list for comments.  I thought someone
might find it interesting.


This is very much a fragile hack at the moment. It's an interesting
idea I think. I was disappointed when I initially found that the
with_statement syntax does not restore the value of the `as var` upon

This made doing something along the lines of

   with temporarily_memoized( func ) :
     for datum in data :
       func( datum )


Well, just a lot hackier actually.

Thus temporarily_memoized( ... ) was born :


# a context manager for temporarily turning any function into
# a memoized version of itself.

from __future__ import with_statement
import contextlib , sys , types

def memoize ( func ) :
     """ In haskell mutability must be handled explicitly.
     Only fair that Python do the same to transparent functionality
     remembered = {}
     def memoized ( *args ) :
          """ memoized version of function """
          if args in remembered :
               return remembered[ args ]
          else :
               new = func( *args )
               remembered[ args ] = new
               return new
     return memoized

def temporarily_memoized ( func ) :
     """ memoize the given function for the duration of this block
     save anything in the local variables that gets in the way of
     using this so that it can be restored afterward , the memoized
     version is found in the locals.  use on actual functions only.
     no members. """

     # this is being called, there has to be a frame above it
     frame = sys._getframe().f_back.f_back

     if func.func_name in frame.f_locals :
          f = frame.f_locals[ func.func_name ]
          frame.f_locals[ func.func_name ] = memoize( func )
          try :
               # this hack replaces whatever in the local scope
               # has the name of the variable.  if you try to use
               # the 'as whatever' portion of the syntax , you
               # are doing it wrong
               yield None
          finally :
               frame.f_locals[ f.func_name ] = f
     else :
          frame.f_locals[ func.func_name ] = memoize( func )
          try :
               yield None
          finally :
               del frame.f_locals[ func.func_name ]

def fib(n):
     """ biggus fibbus """
     if n == 0 or n == 1:
          return n
          return fib(n-1) + fib(n-2)

if __name__ == '__main__' :
     print fib.__doc__
     with temporarily_memoized( fib ) :
          print fib.__doc__
          for i in xrange( 36 ) :
               print "n=%d => %d" % (i, fib(i))
          print fib.__doc__
     print fib.__doc__

outputs :

 biggus fibbus
 memoized version of function
n=0 => 0
n=35 => 9227465
 memoized version of function
 biggus fibbus

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