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Lempel-Ziv complexity for a binary sequence, in naive Python code.

Project Description

This repository contains a small, simple and efficient implement of the Lempel-Ziv complexity algorithm.


Simple usage

If the file is accessible in your PATH or in Python’s path:

>>> from lempel_ziv_complexity import lempel_ziv_complexity
>>> s = '1001111011000010'
>>> lempel_ziv_complexity(s)  # 1 / 0 / 01 / 1110 / 1100 / 0010


See this file.

With the C extension

If the file is accessible in your PATH or in Python’s path, the same can be used.

Small benchmark

There is also a Cython version, to have a faster implementation:

$ ipython
>>> s = '1001111011000010'
>>> %timeit lempel_ziv_complexity(s)
6.1 µs ± 33.6 ns per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 100000 loops each)
>>> %timeit lempel_ziv_complexity_cython(s)
132 ns ± 2.55 ns per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10000000 loops each)

The speedup is typically between x50 and x100. It is not shipped with the PyPi version, see directly on GitHub if needed.

Demo on a Jupyter notebook

See this notebook: on nbviewever.

Install and build

Manually ?


Clone this repository, go in the folder, compile, test, and if it works, install it.

cd /tmp/
git clone
cd Lempel-Ziv_Complexity/src/
make build
make test     # should pass
make install  # mv the build/lib*/*.so files where you need them

Be sure to include the dynamic library when you need it, or in a folder accessible by your Python interpreter (somewhere in sys.path). The file is (for Python 2) or the (for Python 3.5, or higher, adapt the name).

With pip ?

This project is hosted on the Pypi package repository.

sudo pip install lempel_ziv_complexity
python -c "from lempel_ziv_complexity import lempel_ziv_complexity; print(lempel_ziv_complexity('1001111011000010') == 6)"  # test



Python v2.7+ or Python v3.1+.

  • Numba can be used to speed up the pure Python version.
  • Cython is needed to build the C extension (faster).

License ?

MIT Licensed (file LICENSE). © Lilian Besson, 2017.

Release History

This version
History Node


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Filename, Size & Hash SHA256 Hash Help File Type Python Version Upload Date
(6.4 kB) Copy SHA256 Hash SHA256
Wheel py2.py3 Jun 1, 2017
(2.4 kB) Copy SHA256 Hash SHA256
Source None Jun 1, 2017

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