Combinations or Permutations

Mark Lawrence breamoreboy at
Mon Sep 20 23:08:53 CEST 2010

On 20/09/2010 21:54, Seth Leija wrote:
> I need to know how to generate a list of combinations/permutations
> (can't remember which it is). Say I have a list of variables:
> [a,b,c,d,...,x,y,z]
> I am curious if there is an optimized way to generate this:
> [[a,b],[a,c],[a,d],...,[x,z],[y,z]]
> I currently have an iteration that does this:
> from math import *
> list1=['a','b','c','d','e']
> list2=[]
> length=len(list1)
> for it1 in range(0 ,length):
>      for it2 in range(it1+1, length):
>          list2.append([list1[it1],list1[it2]])
> print list2
> However, this is one of the slowest parts of my function (beaten only
> by variable instantiation). I posted this on another forum looking to
> see if there was a different method completely. They said that my
> method was about as simple as it could get, but I might be able to
> find out how to optimize my code here.
> Thanks in advance.

Check the docs for the itertools module.


Mark Lawrence.

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