At the very basic level, Pandas objects can be thought of as enhanced versions of NumPy structured arrays in which the rows and columns are identified with labels rather than simple integer indices. As we will see during the course of this chapter, Pandas provides a host of useful tools, methods, and functionality on top of the basic data structures, but nearly everything that follows will require an understanding of what these structures are. Thus, before we go any further, let’s introduce these three fundamental Pandas data structures: the
We will start our code sessions with the standard NumPy and Pandas imports:
Series is a one-dimensional array of indexed data. It can be created from a list or array as follows:
As we see in the output, the
Series wraps both a sequence of values and a sequence of indices, which we can access with the values and index attributes. The values are simply a familiar NumPy array:
index is an array-like object of type
pd.Index, which we’ll discuss in more detail momentarily.
Like with a NumPy array, data can be accessed by the associated
index via the familiar Python square-bracket notation:
As we will see, though, the Pandas
Series is much more general and flexible than the one-dimensional NumPy array that it emulates.
Series come NumPy array generalizzato
From what we’ve seen so far, it may look like the
Series object is basically interchangeable with a one-dimensional NumPy array. The essential difference is the presence of the
index: while the Numpy Array has an implicitly defined integer index used to access the values, the Pandas
Series has an explicitly defined
index associated with the values.
index definition gives the
Series object additional capabilities. For example, the
index need not be an integer, but can consist of values of any desired type. For example, if we wish, we can use strings as an index, and the item access works as expected:
We can even use non-contiguous or non-sequential indices:
Series come dictionary specializzato
In this way, you can think of a Pandas
Series a bit like a specialization of a Python dictionary. A dictionary is a structure that maps arbitrary keys to a set of arbitrary values, and a
Series is a structure which maps typed keys to a set of typed values. This typing is important: just as the type-specific compiled code behind a NumPy array makes it more efficient than a Python list for certain operations, the type information of a Pandas
Series makes it much more efficient than Python dictionaries for certain operations.
The Series-as-dictionary analogy can be made even more clear by constructing a
Series object directly from a Python dictionary:
By default, a
Series will be created where the
index is drawn from the sorted keys. From here, typical dictionary-style item access can be performed:
Unlike a dictionary, though, the
Series also supports array-style operations such as slicing:
We’ll discuss some of the quirks of Pandas indexing and slicing in Data Indexing and Selection.
Costruire oggetti Series
We’ve already seen a few ways of constructing a Pandas
Series from scratch; all of them are some version of the following:
index is an optional argument, and
data can be one of many entities.
data can be a list or NumPy array, in which case
index defaults to an integer sequence:
data can be a scalar, which is repeated to fill the specified
data can be a dictionary, in which
index defaults to the sorted dictionary keys:
In each case, the
index can be explicitly set if a different result is preferred:
Notice that in this case, the
Series is populated only with the explicitly identified keys.