Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

DataFrame memory usage

As of pandas version 0.15.0, the memory usage of a dataframe (including the index) is shown when accessing the info method of a dataframe. A configuration option, display.memory_usage (see Options and Settings), specifies if the dataframe’s memory usage will be displayed when invoking the method.

For example, the memory usage of the dataframe below is shown when calling

In [1]: dtypes = ['int64', 'float64', 'datetime64[ns]', 'timedelta64[ns]',
   ...:           'complex128', 'object', 'bool']

In [2]: n = 5000

In [3]: data = dict([ (t, np.random.randint(100, size=n).astype(t))
   ...:                 for t in dtypes])

In [4]: df = pd.DataFrame(data)

In [5]: df['categorical'] = df['object'].astype('category')

In [6]:
<class 'pandas.core.frame.DataFrame'>
Int64Index: 5000 entries, 0 to 4999
Data columns (total 8 columns):
bool               5000 non-null bool
complex128         5000 non-null complex128
datetime64[ns]     5000 non-null datetime64[ns]
float64            5000 non-null float64
int64              5000 non-null int64
object             5000 non-null object
timedelta64[ns]    5000 non-null timedelta64[ns]
categorical        5000 non-null category
dtypes: bool(1), category(1), complex128(1), datetime64[ns](1), float64(1), int64(1), object(1), timedelta64[ns](1)
memory usage: 303.5+ KB

The + symbol indicates that the true memory usage could be higher, because pandas does not count the memory used by values in columns with dtype=object.

By default the display option is set to True but can be explicitly overridden by passing the memory_usage argument when invoking

The memory usage of each column can be found by calling the memory_usage method. This returns a Series with an index represented by column names and memory usage of each column shown in bytes. For the dataframe above, the memory usage of each column and the total memory usage of the dataframe can be found with the memory_usage method:

In [7]: df.memory_usage()
bool                5000
complex128         80000
datetime64[ns]     40000
float64            40000
int64              40000
object             20000
timedelta64[ns]    40000
categorical         5800
dtype: int64

# total memory usage of dataframe
In [8]: df.memory_usage().sum()
Out[8]: 270800

By default the memory usage of the dataframe’s index is not shown in the returned Series, the memory usage of the index can be shown by passing the index=True argument:

In [9]: df.memory_usage(index=True)
Index              40000
bool                5000
complex128         80000
datetime64[ns]     40000
float64            40000
int64              40000
object             20000
timedelta64[ns]    40000
categorical         5800
dtype: int64

The memory usage displayed by the info method utilizes the memory_usage method to determine the memory usage of a dataframe while also formatting the output in human-readable units (base-2 representation; i.e., 1KB = 1024 bytes).

See also Categorical Memory Usage.

Byte-Ordering Issues

Occasionally you may have to deal with data that were created on a machine with a different byte order than the one on which you are running Python. To deal with this issue you should convert the underlying NumPy array to the native system byte order before passing it to Series/DataFrame/Panel constructors using something similar to the following:

In [10]: x = np.array(list(range(10)), '>i4') # big endian

In [11]: newx = x.byteswap().newbyteorder() # force native byteorder

In [12]: s = pd.Series(newx)

See the NumPy documentation on byte order for more details.

Visualizing Data in Qt applications


The qt support is deprecated and will be removed in a future version. We refer users to the external package pandas-qt.

There is experimental support for visualizing DataFrames in PyQt4 and PySide applications. At the moment you can display and edit the values of the cells in the DataFrame. Qt will take care of displaying just the portion of the DataFrame that is currently visible and the edits will be immediately saved to the underlying DataFrame

To demonstrate this we will create a simple PySide application that will switch between two editable DataFrames. For this will use the DataFrameModel class that handles the access to the DataFrame, and the DataFrameWidget, which is just a thin layer around the QTableView.

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
from pandas.sandbox.qtpandas import DataFrameModel, DataFrameWidget
from PySide import QtGui, QtCore

# Or if you use PyQt4:
# from PyQt4 import QtGui, QtCore

class MainWidget(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        super(MainWidget, self).__init__(parent)

        # Create two DataFrames
        self.df1 = pd.DataFrame(np.arange(9).reshape(3, 3),
                                columns=['foo', 'bar', 'baz'])
        self.df2 = pd.DataFrame({
                'int': [1, 2, 3],
                'float': [1.5, 2.5, 3.5],
                'string': ['a', 'b', 'c'],
                'nan': [np.nan, np.nan, np.nan]
            }, index=['AAA', 'BBB', 'CCC'],
            columns=['int', 'float', 'string', 'nan'])

        # Create the widget and set the first DataFrame
        self.widget = DataFrameWidget(self.df1)

        # Create the buttons for changing DataFrames
        self.button_first = QtGui.QPushButton('First')
        self.button_second = QtGui.QPushButton('Second')

        # Set the layout
        vbox = QtGui.QVBoxLayout()
        hbox = QtGui.QHBoxLayout()

    def on_first_click(self):
        '''Sets the first DataFrame'''

    def on_second_click(self):
        '''Sets the second DataFrame'''

if __name__ == '__main__':
    import sys

    # Initialize the application
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    mw = MainWidget()