Walking an object/reference graph

Austin Bingham austin.bingham at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 09:59:29 CEST 2009

I'm looking for the proper way to "walk" a graph of python objects. My
specific task is to find all objects of a given type that are referred
to (transitively) by some starting object. My approach has been to
loop through the object's attributes, examining each, and then
recursing on them.

This approach has immediate problems in that I immediately hit
infinite recursion due to method-wrappers; I'm not sure *exactly*
what's going on, but it appears that method-wrappers refer to
method-wrappers ad infinitum. If I add code to avoid this issue,
others soon crop up, so before I wrote too much more code, I thought
I'd check with experts to see if there's a better way.

So, if I've explained what I'm looking for well enough, does anyone
know of a proper way to walk a graph of object references? I need to
support cycles in the graph, so keeping track of visited object IDs or
something will have to be employed. Also, I need to be able to follow
references stored in lists, dictionaries, etc...basically any way to
programatically get from one object to another should be followed by
the algorithm. I feel like I'm missing something simple, but perhaps
this is just a tricky problem for python. Any ideas or insight would
be great. Thanks!


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