Python Language Searching Searching nested sequences


Searching in nested sequences like a list of tuple requires an approach like searching the keys for values in dict but needs customized functions.

The index of the outermost sequence if the value was found in the sequence:

def outer_index(nested_sequence, value):
    return next(index for index, inner in enumerate(nested_sequence) 
                      for item in inner 
                      if item == value)

alist_of_tuples = [(4, 5, 6), (3, 1, 'a'), (7, 0, 4.3)]
outer_index(alist_of_tuples, 'a')  # 1
outer_index(alist_of_tuples, 4.3)  # 2

or the index of the outer and inner sequence:

def outer_inner_index(nested_sequence, value):
    return next((oindex, iindex) for oindex, inner in enumerate(nested_sequence) 
                                 for iindex, item in enumerate(inner) 
                                 if item == value)

outer_inner_index(alist_of_tuples, 'a') # (1, 2)
alist_of_tuples[1][2]  # 'a'

outer_inner_index(alist_of_tuples, 7)   # (2, 0)
alist_of_tuples[2][0]  # 7

In general (not always) using next and a generator expression with conditions to find the first occurrence of the searched value is the most efficient approach.