Python Finding Index of Maximum in List

def main():
    a = [2,1,5,234,3,44,7,6,4,5,9,11,12,14,13]
    max = 0
    for number in a:
        if number > max:
            max = number
    print max

if __name__ == '__main__':

I am able to get the maximum value in the array (without using max() of course...). How can I get the index (position) of that value? Please try to keep it simple without using new Python key words or built-in functions. Thanks!


If you aren't allowed to use the built in index() function, just iterate with an index, instead of using a foreach loop.

for i in range(len(a)):
    if a[i] > max:
        max = a[i]
        maxIndex = i

In my code I would use this:

>>> max(enumerate(a),key=lambda x: x[1])[0]

A simple one liner of:

max( (v, i) for i, v in enumerate(a) )[1]

This avoids having to .index() the list after.


max_idx = -1
max_val = a[0]
for i in xrange(1, len(a)):
    if a[i] > max_val:
        max_val = a[i]
        max_idx = i

This doesn't shadow built-in function max(), and also will give correct answers for lists that consist of only negative values.

Previous solution


will do the trick.

Built-in function max(a) will find the maximum value in your list a, and list function index(v) will find the index of value v in your list. By combining them, you get what you are looking for, in this case the index value 3.

Note that .index() will find the index of the first item in the list that matches, so if you had several identical "max" values, the index returned would be the one for the first.

For more information:

In the spirit of "Simple is better than complex." (Zen of Python)

Use the argmax method of the numpy.array object.

import numpy as np

You can use enumerate to also give you an index while iterating through a list:

>>> a = [2, 1, 5, 234, 3, 44, 7, 6, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 13]
>>> maxIndex, maxNumber = 0, 0
>>> for index, number in enumerate(a):
        if number > maxNumber:
            maxIndex = index
            maxNumber = number

>>> maxIndex, maxNumber
(3, 234)

Use the index(x) function. See the documentation here

def main():
    a = [2,1,5,234,3,44,7,6,4,5,9,11,12,14,13]
    max = 0
    for number in a:
        if number > max:
            max = number
    max_index = a.index(max)
    print max

However, this is not as fast as other suggested answers (e.g. using enumerate). Simple though.

this is way simpler

x.index(max(x)) #where x is your list

If you like powerfull code you would like this :) If you just have integer numbers you can substitute float by int.

maximum= max(map(float,[2,1,5,234,3,44,7,6,4,5,9,11,12,14,13]))

If you have your input in a text file do this:


2 1 5 234 3 44 7 6 4 5 9 11 12 14 13

maximum= max(map(float,(open('file.txt', 'r').readline()).split()))

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