# testing if a list contains a sublist

nn pruebauno at latinmail.com
Tue Aug 16 10:53:48 EDT 2011

```On Aug 16, 8:23 am, Alain Ketterlin <al... at dpt-info.u-strasbg.fr>
wrote:
> Roy Smith <r... at panix.com> writes:
> >> what is the best way to check if a given list (lets call it l1) is
> >> totally contained in a second list (l2)?
>
> [...]
>
> > import re
>
> > def sublist(l1, l2):
> >     s1 = ''.join(map(str, l1))
> >     s2 = ''.join(map(str, l2))
> >     return re.search(s1, s2)
>
> This is complete nonsense (try it on [12] and [1,2]).
>
> The original problem is "string searching" (where strings here are
> sequences of numbers instead of characters). See
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_searching_algorithm
>
> for any algorithm (Rabin-Karp seems appropriate to me).
>
> -- Alain.

That can be easily fixed:

>>> def sublist(lst1, lst2):
s1 = ','.join(map(str, lst1))
s2 = ','.join(map(str, lst2))
return False if s2.find(s1)==-1 else True

>>> sublist([1,2],[1,2,3,4,5])
True
>>> sublist([1,2,2],[1,2,3,4,5])
False
>>> sublist([1,2,3],[1,3,5,7])
False
>>> sublist([12],[1,2])
False
>>>

I don't know about best, but it works for the examples given.

```