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A powerful caching library for Python, with TTL support and multiple algorithm options. (https://github.com/lonelyenvoy/python-memoization)

Project description

python-memoization

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A powerful caching library for Python, with TTL support and multiple algorithm options.

If you like this work, please star it on GitHub.

Why choose this library?

Perhaps you know about functools.lru_cache in Python 3, and you may be wondering why we are reinventing the wheel.

Well, actually not. This lib is based on functools. Please find below the comparison with lru_cache.

Features functools.lru_cache memoization
Configurable max size ✔️ ✔️
Thread safety ✔️ ✔️
Flexible argument typing (typed & untyped) ✔️ Always typed
Cache statistics ✔️ ✔️
LRU (Least Recently Used) as caching algorithm ✔️ ✔️
LFU (Least Frequently Used) as caching algorithm No support ✔️
FIFO (First In First Out) as caching algorithm No support ✔️
Extensibility for new caching algorithms No support ✔️
TTL (Time-To-Live) support No support ✔️
Support for unhashable arguments (dict, list, etc.) No support ✔️
Custom cache keys No support ✔️
On-demand partial cache clearing No support ✔️
Iterating through the cache No support ✔️
Python version 3.2+ 3.4+

memoization solves some drawbacks of functools.lru_cache:

  1. lru_cache does not support unhashable types, which means function arguments cannot contain dict or list.
>>> from functools import lru_cache
>>> @lru_cache()
... def f(x): return x
... 
>>> f([1, 2])  # unsupported
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unhashable type: 'list'
  1. lru_cache is vulnerable to hash collision attack and can be hacked or compromised. Using this technique, attackers can make your program unexpectedly slow by feeding the cached function with certain cleverly designed inputs. However, in memoization, caching is always typed, which means f(3) and f(3.0) will be treated as different calls and cached separately. Also, you can build your own cache key with a unique hashing strategy. These measures prevents the attack from happening (or at least makes it a lot harder).
>>> hash((1,))
3430019387558
>>> hash(3430019387558.0)  # two different arguments with an identical hash value
3430019387558
  1. Unlike lru_cache, memoization is designed to be highly extensible, which make it easy for developers to add and integrate any caching algorithms (beyond FIFO, LRU and LFU) into this library. See Contributing Guidance for further detail.

Installation

pip install -U memoization

1-Minute Tutorial

from memoization import cached

@cached
def func(arg):
    ...  # do something slow

Simple enough - the results of func() are cached. Repetitive calls to func() with the same arguments run func() only once, enhancing performance.

:warning:WARNING: for functions with unhashable arguments, the default setting may not enable memoization to work properly. See custom cache keys section below for details.

15-Minute Tutorial

You will learn about the advanced features in the following tutorial, which enable you to customize memoization .

Configurable options include ttl, max_size, algorithm, thread_safe, order_independent and custom_key_maker.

TTL (Time-To-Live)

@cached(ttl=5)  # the cache expires after 5 seconds
def expensive_db_query(user_id):
    ...

For impure functions, TTL (in second) will be a solution. This will be useful when the function returns resources that is valid only for a short time, e.g. fetching something from databases.

Limited cache capacity

@cached(max_size=128)  # the cache holds no more than 128 items
def get_a_very_large_object(filename):
    ...

By default, if you don't specify max_size, the cache can hold unlimited number of items. When the cache is fully occupied, the former data will be overwritten by a certain algorithm described below.

Choosing your caching algorithm

from memoization import cached, CachingAlgorithmFlag

@cached(max_size=128, algorithm=CachingAlgorithmFlag.LFU)  # the cache overwrites items using the LFU algorithm
def func(arg):
    ...

Possible values for algorithm are:

  • CachingAlgorithmFlag.LRU: Least Recently Used (default)
  • CachingAlgorithmFlag.LFU: Least Frequently Used
  • CachingAlgorithmFlag.FIFO: First In First Out

This option is valid only when a max_size is explicitly specified.

Thread safe?

@cached(thread_safe=False)
def func(arg):
    ...

thread_safe is True by default. Setting it to False enhances performance.

Order-independent cache key

By default, the following function calls will be treated differently and cached twice, which means the cache misses at the second call.

func(a=1, b=1)
func(b=1, a=1)

You can avoid this behavior by passing an order_independent argument to the decorator, although it will slow down the performance a little bit.

@cached(order_independent=True)
def func(**kwargs):
    ...

Custom cache keys

Prior to memorize your function inputs and outputs (i.e. putting them into a cache), memoization needs to build a cache key using the inputs, so that the outputs can be retrieved later.

By default, memoization tries to combine all your function arguments and calculate its hash value using hash(). If it turns out that parts of your arguments are unhashable, memoization will fall back to turning them into a string using str(). This behavior relies on the assumption that the string exactly represents the internal state of the arguments, which is true for built-in types.

However, this is not true for all objects. If you pass objects which are instances of non-built-in classes, sometimes you will need to override the default key-making procedure, because the str() function on these objects may not hold the correct information about their states.

Here are some suggestions. Implementations of a valid key maker:

  • MUST be a function with the same signature as the cached function.
  • MUST produce unique keys, which means two sets of different arguments always map to two different keys.
  • MUST produce hashable keys, and a key is comparable with another key (memoization only needs to check for their equality).
  • should compute keys efficiently and produce small objects as keys.

Example:

def get_employee_id(employee):
    return employee.id  # returns a string or a integer

@cached(custom_key_maker=get_employee_id)
def calculate_performance(employee):
    ...

Note that writing a robust key maker function can be challenging in some situations. If you find it difficult, feel free to ask for help by submitting an issue.

Knowing how well the cache is behaving

>>> @cached
... def f(x): return x
... 
>>> f.cache_info()
CacheInfo(hits=0, misses=0, current_size=0, max_size=None, algorithm=<CachingAlgorithmFlag.LRU: 2>, ttl=None, thread_safe=True, order_independent=False, use_custom_key=False)

With cache_info, you can retrieve the number of hits and misses of the cache, and other information indicating the caching status.

  • hits: the number of cache hits
  • misses: the number of cache misses
  • current_size: the number of items that were cached
  • max_size: the maximum number of items that can be cached (user-specified)
  • algorithm: caching algorithm (user-specified)
  • ttl: Time-To-Live value (user-specified)
  • thread_safe: whether the cache is thread safe (user-specified)
  • order_independent: whether the cache is kwarg-order-independent (user-specified)
  • use_custom_key: whether a custom key maker is used

Other APIs

  • Access the original undecorated function f by f.__wrapped__.
  • Clear the cache by f.cache_clear().
  • Check whether the cache is empty by f.cache_is_empty().
  • Check whether the cache is full by f.cache_is_full().
  • Disable SyntaxWarning by memoization.suppress_warnings().

Advanced API References

Details

Checking whether the cache contains something

cache_contains_argument(function_arguments, alive_only)

Return True if the cache contains a cached item with the specified function call arguments

:param function_arguments:  Can be a list, a tuple or a dict.
                            - Full arguments: use a list to represent both positional arguments and keyword
                              arguments. The list contains two elements, a tuple (positional arguments) and
                              a dict (keyword arguments). For example,
                                f(1, 2, 3, a=4, b=5, c=6)
                              can be represented by:
                                [(1, 2, 3), {'a': 4, 'b': 5, 'c': 6}]
                            - Positional arguments only: when the arguments does not include keyword arguments,
                              a tuple can be used to represent positional arguments. For example,
                                f(1, 2, 3)
                              can be represented by:
                                (1, 2, 3)
                            - Keyword arguments only: when the arguments does not include positional arguments,
                              a dict can be used to represent keyword arguments. For example,
                                f(a=4, b=5, c=6)
                              can be represented by:
                                {'a': 4, 'b': 5, 'c': 6}

:param alive_only:          Whether to check alive cache item only (default to True).

:return:                    True if the desired cached item is present, False otherwise.

cache_contains_result(return_value, alive_only)

Return True if the cache contains a cache item with the specified user function return value. O(n) time
complexity.

:param return_value:        A return value coming from the user function.

:param alive_only:          Whether to check alive cache item only (default to True).

:return:                    True if the desired cached item is present, False otherwise.

Iterating through the cache

cache_arguments()

Get user function arguments of all alive cache elements

see also: cache_items()

Example:
   @cached
   def f(a, b, c, d):
       ...
   f(1, 2, c=3, d=4)
   for argument in f.cache_arguments():
       print(argument)  # ((1, 2), {'c': 3, 'd': 4})

:return: an iterable which iterates through a list of a tuple containing a tuple (positional arguments) and
        a dict (keyword arguments)

cache_results()

Get user function return values of all alive cache elements

see also: cache_items()

Example:
   @cached
   def f(a):
       return a
   f('hello')
   for result in f.cache_results():
       print(result)  # 'hello'

:return: an iterable which iterates through a list of user function result (of any type)

cache_items()

Get cache items, i.e. entries of all alive cache elements, in the form of (argument, result).

argument: a tuple containing a tuple (positional arguments) and a dict (keyword arguments).
result: a user function return value of any type.

see also: cache_arguments(), cache_results().

Example:
   @cached
   def f(a, b, c, d):
       return 'the answer is ' + str(a)
   f(1, 2, c=3, d=4)
   for argument, result in f.cache_items():
       print(argument)  # ((1, 2), {'c': 3, 'd': 4})
       print(result)    # 'the answer is 1'

:return: an iterable which iterates through a list of (argument, result) entries

cache_for_each()

Perform the given action for each cache element in an order determined by the algorithm until all
elements have been processed or the action throws an error

:param consumer:           an action function to process the cache elements. Must have 3 arguments:
                             def consumer(user_function_arguments, user_function_result, is_alive): ...
                           user_function_arguments is a tuple holding arguments in the form of (args, kwargs).
                             args is a tuple holding positional arguments.
                             kwargs is a dict holding keyword arguments.
                             for example, for a function: foo(a, b, c, d), calling it by: foo(1, 2, c=3, d=4)
                             user_function_arguments == ((1, 2), {'c': 3, 'd': 4})
                           user_function_result is a return value coming from the user function.
                           is_alive is a boolean value indicating whether the cache is still alive
                           (if a TTL is given).

Removing something from the cache

cache_clear()

Clear the cache and its statistics information

cache_remove_if(predicate)

Remove all cache elements that satisfy the given predicate

:param predicate:           a predicate function to judge whether the cache elements should be removed. Must
                            have 3 arguments, and returns True or False:
                              def consumer(user_function_arguments, user_function_result, is_alive): ...
                            user_function_arguments is a tuple holding arguments in the form of (args, kwargs).
                              args is a tuple holding positional arguments.
                              kwargs is a dict holding keyword arguments.
                              for example, for a function: foo(a, b, c, d), calling it by: foo(1, 2, c=3, d=4)
                              user_function_arguments == ((1, 2), {'c': 3, 'd': 4})
                            user_function_result is a return value coming from the user function.
                            is_alive is a boolean value indicating whether the cache is still alive
                            (if a TTL is given).

:return:                    True if at least one element is removed, False otherwise.

Q&A

  1. Q: There are duplicated code in memoization and most of them can be eliminated by using another level of abstraction (e.g. classes and multiple inheritance). Why not refactor?

    A: We would like to keep the code in a proper level of abstraction. However, these abstractions make it run slower. As this is a caching library focusing on speed, we have to give up some elegance for better performance. Refactoring is our future work.

  2. Q: I have submitted an issue and not received a reply for a long time. Anyone can help me?

    A: Sorry! We are not working full-time, but working voluntarily on this project, so you might experience some delay. We appreciate your patience.

Contributing

This project welcomes contributions from anyone.

License

The MIT License

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