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easy way to get the second (third, ...)  largest number in python

Posted on 2015-01-22
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Last Modified: 2015-01-27
Hi experts,

Is there an easy way in Python to get the second, or the third largest number in an array? consider two cases, one is every number is different, the other case is there are possible duplicated numbers.

Looking at some similar from MS Excel as: large(A:A, 2) to get the second largest number in A column.

Thanks,
RDB
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Question by:ResourcefulDB
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clockwatcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40565608
Here you go:

nth_largest = lambda l, nth: sorted(set(l))[-(nth if nth<=len(set(l)) and nth>=1 else 0)]
print(nth_largest( (9, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 3, 3, 4), 2))   # return the second largest number in the list - 8

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You didn't define what you want to happen if you ask for the 4th largest number but only have 3 unique numbers, I went with the smallest number.
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