Python combinations generator using generators

Python: Generators Yield Exercise-6 with Solution

Write a Python program to implement a generator that yields all possible combinations of a given list of elements.

In mathematics, a combination is a selection of items from a set that has distinct members, such that the order of selection does not matter (unlike permutations). For example, given three fruits, say an apple, an orange and a pear, there are three combinations of two that can be drawn from this set: an apple and a pear; an apple and an orange; or a pear and an orange. More formally, a k-combination of a set S is a subset of k distinct elements of S.

Sample Solution:

Python Code:

def list_combinations(elements, r):
    if r == 0:
        yield []
    elif r > len(elements):
        for i in range(len(elements)):
            current_element = elements[i]
            remaining_elements = elements[i+1:]
            for combination in list_combinations(remaining_elements, r-1):
                yield [current_element] + combination

# Accept input from the user
nums = [1, 2, 3, 4]
print("Original list of elements:",nums)
r = int(input("Input length of each combination: "))
# Generate and print all combinations
print("All combinations:")
for combination in list_combinations(nums, r):

Sample Output:

Original list of elements: [1, 2, 3, 4]
Input length of each combination: 3
All combinations:
[1, 2, 3]
[1, 2, 4]
[1, 3, 4]
[2, 3, 4]
Original list of elements: [1, 2, 3, 4]
Input length of each combination: 4
All combinations:
[1, 2, 3, 4]


In the above exercise,

  • The combinations() function is defined as a generator function that takes two parameters: elements (the list of elements) and r (the length of each combination).
  • If "r" is 0, it means we have generated a combination of lengths 0, so an empty list is yielded.
  • If "r" is greater than the length of elements, it means the program cannot form combinations of lengths r from the given list, so the function returns.
  • In the recursive case, the function iterates over the indices of the elements list using a for loop.
  • Within the loop, the current element at index i is selected, and the remaining elements (elements[i+1:]) are stored in the remaining_elements variable.
  • Another nested for loop is used to iterate over the combinations generated by recursively calling the combinations() function with the remaining_elements and r-1.
  • For each combination, the current element is prepended to the combination using list concatenation ([current_element] + combination).
  • The function yields each generated combination.
  • The program accepts input from the user: "nums" represents the list of elements and "r" represents the length of each combination.
  • The program prints a message indicating that it will generate all combinations.
  • A for loop iterates over all combinations generated by the combinations() generator function.
  • Inside the loop, each combination is printed using the print() function.


Flowchart: Python combinations generator using generators

Python Code Editor:

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