Parsing text with Python

Expectation is the root of all heartache.

Agenda

  • Why parse files?
  • The big picture
  • Parsing text in standard format
  • Parsing text using string methods
  • Parsing text in complex format using regular expressions
  • Is this the best solution?
  • Reference to blog

Why parse files?

Definition

Convert data in a certain format into a more usable format.​

The Big Picture

pandas

  • Insanely powerful data analysis

  • An abstraction on top of Numpy which provides multi-dimensional arrays, similar to Matlab

  • The DataFrame is a 2D array

  • MultiIndex allows it to store multi-dimensional data.

  • SQL or database style operations are easy

  • A suite of IO tools

Parsing text in standard format

a,b,c
1,2,3
4,5,6
7,8,9
import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_csv('data.txt')
df

   a  b  c
0  1  2  3
1  4  5  6
2  7  8  9

Parsing text using string methods

my_string = 'Names: Romeo, Juliet'

# split the string at ':'
step_0 = my_string.split(':')

# get the first slice of the list
step_1 = step_0[1]

# split the string at ','
step_2 = step_1.split(',')

# strip leading and trailing edge 
# spaces of each item of the list 
step_3 = [name.strip() for name in step_2]
Step 0: ['Names', ' Romeo, Juliet']


Step 1:  Romeo, Juliet


Step 2: [' Romeo', ' Juliet']



Step 3: ['Romeo', 'Juliet']

Parsing text in complex format using regular expressions

Sample text

A selection of students from Riverdale High and Hogwarts took part in a quiz. 
Below is a record of their scores.

School = Riverdale High
Grade = 1
Student number, Name
0, Phoebe
1, Rachel

Student number, Score
0, 3
1, 7

Grade = 2
Student number, Name
0, Angela
1, Tristan
2, Aurora

Student number, Score
0, 6
1, 3
2, 9

School = Hogwarts
Grade = 1
Student number, Name
0, Ginny
1, Luna
                                         Name  Score
School         Grade Student number                 
Hogwarts       1     0                  Ginny      8
                     1                   Luna      7
               2     0                  Harry      5
                     1               Hermione     10
               3     0                   Fred      0
                     1                 George      0
Riverdale High 1     0                 Phoebe      3
                     1                 Rachel      7
               2     0                 Angela      6                          
                     1                Tristan      3
                     2                 Aurora      9
import re
import pandas as pd
'School = (?P<school>.*)\n'
# set up regular expressions
# use https://regexper.com to visualise these if required
rx_dict = {
    'school': re.compile(r'School = (?P<school>.*)\n'),
    'grade': re.compile(r'Grade = (?P<grade>\d+)\n'),
    'name_score': re.compile(r'(?P<name_score>Name|Score)'),
}
def _parse_line(line):
    """
    Do a regex search against all defined regexes and
    return the key and match result of the first matching regex

    """

    for key, rx in rx_dict.items():
        match = rx.search(line)
        if match:
            return key, match
    # if there are no matches
    return None, None
data = []  # create an empty list to collect the data
# open the file and read through it line by line
with open(filepath, 'r') as file_object:
    line = file_object.readline()
    while line:
        # at each line check for a match with a regex
        key, match = _parse_line(line)

        # extract school name
        if key == 'school':
            school = match.group('school')

        # extract grade
        if key == 'grade':
            grade = match.group('grade')
            grade = int(grade)
# create a dictionary containing this row of data
row = {
    'School': school,
    'Grade': grade,
    'Student number': number,
    value_type: value
}
# append the dictionary to the data list
data.append(row)
data = pd.DataFrame(data)

Is this the best solution?

Parsing text with Python

By Vipin Ajayakumar

Parsing text with Python

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