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Introduction to Numpy library

Introduction to Numpy library

Hello python students. In this lecture we will  briefly introduce one more external library called NumPy. NumPy stands for numerical  Python and this library is very popular for scientific computing in Python. The core  of this NumPy package is ndarray object. ndarray stands for n dimensional  arrays. Many of you might think Python list and this NumPy arrays as  same, but that is a misconception.   There are multiple differences  between list and arrays. Therefore, in order to use NumPy library effectively we  should first understand these differences. Then only we will be able to decide when  to use list and when to use arrays.   So, these are the differences between Python  list and NumPy array. Most of these differences are self-explanatory whereas few requires  some additional explanations because of technical complexity involved in it. So, let  us go through these differences one by one. First installation and importing. As we know  Python list is the core data structure in Python language itself. Hence, we do not require  any installation or import statement.   Whereas, NumPy is an external library,  hence we have to install this library and then only we can import it and use  it just like what we did with Pandas. Second point, type of elements. Python list  can store elements of any type in a single list which means we can have integer,  character, float, another list, a dictionary, tuple, set, string or any kind  of data element inside a single list.   Whereas, for NumPy arrays,  there is an restriction; every element in the NumPy array must be of same  type, which means if we create a NumPy array we have to use it either only for integers or only  for strings and so on. But we cannot mix and match all these together in an single array. Third point; dimension of elements. There is no restriction on the dimension of  elements stored inside list. For example, we are using nested list. The inner list can be  of any size. There is no restriction on that. Whereas, with respect to NumPy array, every  inner list should be of same size.   Next point. Memory allocation. Whenever we create  list all the elements in the list are stored in memory in non-contiguous manner. Whereas, with  respect to NumPy array, every single element stored in that array is always in contiguous  manner in the main memory. Next point; size. As would have seen it earlier,  Python list requires more memory as in it requires more bytes of memory to store  some n number of elements. On the other hand, in order to store those same n number of  elements, NumPy arrays takes less space.   Next parameter is performance and as it says  NumPy arrays are faster than Python list. Moving to next parameter; element  wise operations. In Python lists, we cannot do element wise operations in a single  instruction, instead we have to iterate over the list and access individual element in order  to do such operations. Whereas for NumPy it is very much possible to perform element  wise operations in single statement.   And then the last difference is related to  functionality. Python list cannot handle arithmetic operations. Whereas NumPy  arrays can handle arithmetic operations and not just that NumPy array also  provides a wide range of inbuilt functions which are very much useful for these arithmetic  operations. And because of that NumPy array is very popular with respect to scientific  computing in Python. So, now let us move to our Python editor and look at the core  concept of NumPy array which is ndarrays.   Now, look at this particular code, here we have  declared 4 variables, all are of type list, first with single element, second with 5 elements,  third is a nested list where we have two inner list stored inside one outer list. So, it is  like a matric stored in a form of list of lists. Whereas, the last variable d is like a  three-dimensional matrix where we have 3 levels of nesting with respect to list. So, let us execute and we got the output as expected and there is  nothing new about it. But the point to remember is even though we said that this is a nested  list and we are trying to store matrix inside this particular list, still Python list  consider this list as a one-dimensional list. Same thing happens even with respect to this  list where we are trying to store values in three dimensions. Python is considering the entire thing  as a one-dimensional entity with some nesting. Now, let us try to implement same example  using NumPy arrays and then we will be able to understand the difference between regular  list and ndarrays provided by NumPy.   Now, look at this particular code, import NumPy as  np, then in order to create a NumPy array we will use this particular function np dot array, then  we will pass this simple number as a parameter. This will create an array of 0 dimensions.  In second case we are creating an array of one dimension. In third case we are trying to  creating an array with two dimensions. Whereas, this will be a three-dimensional array. Let us print the values stored in these four variables along with the dimensions of  each particular variable. Let us execute. As you can observe in the output 42 has 0  dimensions because it is just a single number whereas, this is a one-dimensional array, whereas  for third variable it says two dimensional because it is a matrix and as you can see it  actually considers this as a matrix instead of list of list or in this case array of arrays. This is the first row of matrix and this will be the second row of matrix and that is  the biggest difference between NumPy and list. Fourth variable d is even more  interesting because this is a 3d entity. So, we have this as a first matrix and this as  a second matrix in that third dimension.   I hope you must have understood the major  difference between NumPy and a regular Python list. The idea behind this particular lecture  was to make you all aware that there exists some entity called as NumPy which is an external  library and it is very much useful with respect to arithmetic computation in Python. I am sure  you must have explored this particular library in depth in statistics 2 course and if  not, you will do it in upcoming terms.   Beyond that this particular library will be used  in Machine Learning and deep learning courses extensively. But with respect to this particular  Python course, this library is irrelevant. Hence, we will stop with this brief introduction  and allow you to explore it as you go on. Thank you for watching this  lecture. Happy learning.

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