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Implements a topological sort algorithm.

Project description


Implements a topological sort algorithm.

From Wikipedia: In computer science, a topological sort (sometimes abbreviated topsort or toposort) or topological ordering of a directed graph is a linear ordering of its vertices such that for every directed edge uv from vertex u to vertex v, u comes before v in the ordering.

Input data description

The input to the toposort function is a dict describing the dependencies among the input nodes. Each key is a dependent node, the corresponding value is a set containing the dependent nodes.

Note that toposort does not care what the input node values mean: it just compares them for equality. The examples here usually use integers, but they could be any hashable type.

Typical usage

The interpretation of the input data here is: If 2 depends on 11; 9 depends on 11, 8 and 10; 10 depends on 11 and 3 (and so on), then in what order should we process the items such that all nodes are processed before any of their dependencies?:

>>> from toposort import toposort, toposort_flatten
>>> list(toposort({2: {11},
...                9: {11, 8, 10},
...                10: {11, 3},
...                11: {7, 5},
...                8: {7, 3},
...               }))
[{3, 5, 7}, {8, 11}, {2, 10}, {9}]

And the answer is: process 3, 5, and 7 (in any order); then process 8 and 11; then process 2 and 10; then process 9. Note that 3, 5, and 7 are returned first because they do not depend on anything. They are then removed from consideration, and then 8 and 11 don’t depend on anything remaining. This process continues until all nodes are returned, or a circular dependency is detected.

Circular dependencies

A circular dependency will raise a ValueError. Here 1 depends on 2, and 2 depends on 1:

>>> list(toposort({1: {2},
...                2: {1},
...               }))
Traceback (most recent call last):
ValueError: Cyclic dependencies exist among these items: (1, {2}), (2, {1})

Module contents


Returns an iterator describing the dependencies among nodes in the input data. Each returned item will be a set. Each member of this set has no dependencies in this set, or in any set previously returned.

toposort_flatten(data, sort=True)

Like toposort(data), except that it returns a list of all of the depend values, in order. If sort is true, the returned nodes are sorted within each group before they are appended to the result:

>>> toposort_flatten({2: {11},
...                   9: {11, 8, 10},
...                   10: {11, 3},
...                   11: {7, 5},
...                   8: {7, 3},
...                  })
[3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 2, 10, 9]

Note that this result is the same as the first example: [{3, 5, 7}, {8, 11}, {2, 10}, {9}], except that the result is flattened, and within each set the nodes are sorted.


To test, run ‘python test’. On python >= 3.0, this also runs the doctests.

Change log

1.1 2014-07-24 Eric V. Smith

  • Release version 1.1. No code changes.
  • Add a README.txt entry on running the test suite.
  • Fix missing test/ in the sdist.

1.0 2014-03-14 Eric V. Smith

  • Release version 1.0. The API is stable.
  • Add to, so that it is created in the sdist (issue #1).

0.2 2014-02-11 Eric V. Smith

  • Modify to produce a RPM name of python-toposort for bdist_rpm.

0.1 2014-02-10 Eric V. Smith

  • Initial release.

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