Unordered Sets In Python

collision in hashing

Introduction to Unordered Sets 

 An unordered sets, a dynamic and efficient unordered associative container designed for optimal performance in programming. An unordered_set is crafted using a hash table, where keys are strategically hashed into indices, ensuring that insertions are consistently randomized. 

Let’s jump into the article to know more about Unordered Sets in Python .

Understanding Unordered Sets

Unordered set, often referred to simply as a “set,” is a data structure in computer science that stores a collection of distinct elements. The term “unordered” means that the elements in the set have no specific order, and the order in which elements are added to the set is not preserved.

Unordered Sets Python with Example



Unordered Sets Techniques

When working with unordered sets, there are several techniques and operations that you might find useful. Here are some common techniques and operations associated with unordered sets:

1. Adding Elements:

Use the add method to insert a new element into the set.

my_set = {1, 2, 3}

2. Removing Elements:

Use the remove method to remove a specific element from the set. If the element is not present, it raises a KeyError. Alternatively, you can use the discard method, which removes the element if it’s present, but does nothing if the element is not in the set.

my_set = {1, 2, 3}
# or

3. Checking Membership:

Use the in operator to check if an element is present in the set.

my_set = {1, 2, 3}
print(2 in my_set)  # True

4. Set Operations:

Unordered sets support various set operations such as union (|), intersection (&), difference (-), and symmetric difference (^).

set1 = {1, 2, 3, 4}
set2 = {3, 4, 5, 6}
union_set = set1 | set2
intersection_set = set1 & set2
difference_set = set1 - set2
symmetric_difference_set = set1 ^ set2

 5. Iterating Over Elements:

You can use a for loop to iterate over the elements of a set. However, keep in mind that the order of elements is not guaranteed.

my_set = {1, 2, 3}
for element in my_set:

6. Copying Sets:

To create a copy of a set, you can use the copy method or simply use the set constructor.

original_set = {1, 2, 3}
copied_set = original_set.copy()
# or
copied_set = set(original_set)

7. Set Comprehensions:

Similar to list comprehensions, you can use set comprehensions to create sets in a concise manner.

squares_set = {x**2 for x in range(1, 6)}

8. Conversion to Sets:

You can convert other iterable types (lists, tuples) to sets using the set constructor.

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 2]
converted_set = set(my_list)  # Results in {1, 2, 3}

Unordered Set

unordered set is a collection of unique elements without a specific order, allowing fast membership testing and dynamic size adjustments. Examples include Python’s set and C++’s std::unordered_set.

Implementation of Unordered Set In Python

# Creating an unordered set
my_set = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

# Adding elements to the set
my_set.add(2) # Duplicate elements are not allowed

# Removing an element from the set

# Checking membership
print(2 in my_set) # True
print(7 in my_set) # False

# Iterating over elements
for element in my_set:

# Set operations
set1 = {1, 2, 3, 4}
set2 = {3, 4, 5, 6}

union_set = set1 | set2
intersection_set = set1 & set2
difference_set = set1 - set2
symmetric_difference_set = set1 ^ set2

# Set comprehension
squares_set = {x**2 for x in range(1, 6)}

# Copying a set
copied_set = my_set.copy()

# Converting other iterables to sets
my_list = [1, 2, 3, 2]
converted_set = set(my_list) # Results in {1, 2, 3}

Explanation : 

In this Python code, we’ve created a simple HashTable class with methods for insertion, search, and deletion using linear probing for collision resolution.

  • Creation: Use {} to create an unordered set in Python.
  • Adding Elements: Utilize the add method for inserting elements.
  • Removing Elements: Use remove or discard to eliminate elements.
  • Membership Testing: Employ in to check if an element is present.
  • Iterating: Use a for loop for iteration (order not guaranteed).
  • Set Operations: Perform set operations like union (|) and intersection (&).
  • Comprehension: Create sets using comprehensions, e.g., {x**2 for x in range(1, 6)}.
  • Copying Sets: Use copy method or set constructor for duplication.

Advantages of Unordered Sets


In conclusion, unordered sets provide a versatile and efficient data structure in programming. With their emphasis on fast membership testing, enforcement of element uniqueness, and support for various mathematical set operations, sets offer a valuable tool for managing collections of distinct elements. The absence of a specific order, dynamic sizing capabilities, and efficient implementations contribute to their flexibility and performance. Whether performing set operations or simplifying logic by relying on unordered elements, sets prove to be advantageous in a variety of programming scenarios.

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