How to get the least common element in a list?

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Question :

How to get the least common element in a list?

To find the most common, I know I can use something like this:

most_common = collections.Counter(list).most_common(to_find)

However, I can’t seem to find anything comparable, for finding the least common element.

Could I please get recommendations on how to do.

Asked By: jimy


Answer #1:

Borrowing the source of collections.Counter.most_common and inverting as appropriate:

from operator import itemgetter
import heapq
import collections
def least_common_values(array, to_find=None):
    counter = collections.Counter(array)
    if to_find is None:
        return sorted(counter.items(), key=itemgetter(1), reverse=False)
    return heapq.nsmallest(to_find, counter.items(), key=itemgetter(1))

>>> data = [1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4,4,4]
>>> least_common_values(data, 2)
[(1, 2), (2, 4)]
>>> least_common_values([1,1,2,3,3])
[(2, 1), (1, 2), (3, 2)]
Answered By: John Machin

Answer #2:

most_common without any argument returns all the entries, ordered from most common to least.

So to find the least common, just start looking at it from the other end.

Answered By: Anon.

Answer #3:

What about

least_common = collections.Counter(array).most_common()[-1]
Answered By: Jim Brissom

Answer #4:

def least_common_values(array, to_find):
    >>> least_common_values([1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4,4,4], 2)
    [(1, 2), (2, 4)]
    counts = collections.Counter(array)
    return list(reversed(counts.most_common()[-to_find:]))
Answered By: Glenn Maynard

Answer #5:

The easiest way to implement the search of the minimum in an Iterable is as follows:


That returns a 2-dimensional tuple containing the element at first position and the count of occurrences at second position.

Answered By: bmc

Answer #6:

I guess you need this:

least_common = collections.Counter(array).most_common()[:-to_find-1:-1]
Answered By: Andrea Gigli

Answer #7:

Sorry, late to this thread… Found the docs quite helpful:

Do a search for ‘least’, and you’ll come across this table which helps on getting more than the last (-1) element in the list:

c.most_common()[:-n-1:-1]       # n least common elements

Here’s an example:

n = 50

word_freq = Count(words)
least_common = word_freq.most_common()[:-n-1:-1]
Answered By: Christopher

Answer #8:

To just get the least common element and nothing more:

>>> from collections import Counter
>>> ls = [1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 5, 1, 6, 6]
>>> Counter(ls).most_common()[-1][0]
Answered By: ruohola

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