# Representing graphs (data structure) in Python

How can one neatly represent a graph in Python)? (Starting from scratch i.e. no libraries!)

What data structure (e.g. dicts/tuples/dict(tuples)) will be fast but also memory efficient?

One must be able to do various graph operations on it.

As pointed out, the various graph representations#Representations) might help. How does one go about implementing them in Python?

As for the libraries, this question has quite good answers.

Even though this is a somewhat old question, I thought I'd give a practical answer for anyone stumbling across this.

Let's say you get your input data for your connections as a list of tuples like so:

```
[('A', 'B'), ('B', 'C'), ('B', 'D'), ('C', 'D'), ('E', 'F'), ('F', 'C')]
```

The data structure I've found to be most useful and efficient for graphs in Python is a **dict of sets**. This will be the underlying structure for our `Graph`

class. You also have to know if these connections are arcs (directed, connect one way) or edges (undirected, connect both ways). We'll handle that by adding a `directed`

parameter to the `Graph.__init__`

method. We'll also add some other helpful methods.

```
from collections import defaultdict
class Graph(object):
""" Graph data structure, undirected by default. """
def __init__(self, connections, directed=False):
self._graph = defaultdict(set)
self._directed = directed
self.add_connections(connections)
def add_connections(self, connections):
""" Add connections (list of tuple pairs) to graph """
for node1, node2 in connections:
self.add(node1, node2)
def add(self, node1, node2):
""" Add connection between node1 and node2 """
self._graph[node1].add(node2)
if not self._directed:
self._graph[node2].add(node1)
def remove(self, node):
""" Remove all references to node """
for n, cxns in self._graph.iteritems():
try:
cxns.remove(node)
except KeyError:
pass
try:
del self._graph[node]
except KeyError:
pass
def is_connected(self, node1, node2):
""" Is node1 directly connected to node2 """
return node1 in self._graph and node2 in self._graph[node1]
def find_path(self, node1, node2, path=[]):
""" Find any path between node1 and node2 (may not be shortest) """
path = path + [node1]
if node1 == node2:
return path
if node1 not in self._graph:
return None
for node in self._graph[node1]:
if node not in path:
new_path = self.find_path(node, node2, path)
if new_path:
return new_path
return None
def __str__(self):
return '{}({})'.format(self.__class__.__name__, dict(self._graph))
```

I'll leave it as an "exercise for the reader" to create a `find_shortest_path`

and other methods.

Let's see this in action though...

```
>>> connections = [('A', 'B'), ('B', 'C'), ('B', 'D'),
('C', 'D'), ('E', 'F'), ('F', 'C')]
>>> g = Graph(connections, directed=True)
>>> pprint(g._graph)
{'A': {'B'},
'B': {'D', 'C'},
'C': {'D'},
'E': {'F'},
'F': {'C'}}
>>> g = Graph(connections) # undirected
>>> pprint(g._graph)
{'A': {'B'},
'B': {'D', 'A', 'C'},
'C': {'D', 'F', 'B'},
'D': {'C', 'B'},
'E': {'F'},
'F': {'E', 'C'}}
>>> g.add('E', 'D')
>>> pprint(g._graph)
{'A': {'B'},
'B': {'D', 'A', 'C'},
'C': {'D', 'F', 'B'},
'D': {'C', 'E', 'B'},
'E': {'D', 'F'},
'F': {'E', 'C'}}
>>> g.remove('A')
>>> pprint(g._graph)
{'B': {'D', 'C'},
'C': {'D', 'F', 'B'},
'D': {'C', 'E', 'B'},
'E': {'D', 'F'},
'F': {'E', 'C'}}
>>> g.add('G', 'B')
>>> pprint(g._graph)
{'B': {'D', 'G', 'C'},
'C': {'D', 'F', 'B'},
'D': {'C', 'E', 'B'},
'E': {'D', 'F'},
'F': {'E', 'C'},
'G': {'B'}}
>>> g.find_path('G', 'E')
['G', 'B', 'D', 'C', 'F', 'E']
```

From: stackoverflow.com/q/19472530

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