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PyKX Conversion Considerations

PyKX attempts to make conversions between q and Python as seamless as possible. However due to differences in their underlying implementations there are cases where 1 to 1 mappings are not possible.

Data types and conversions

The key PyKX APIs around data types and conversions are outlined under:

Text representation in PyKX

Text representation in PyKX requires consideration as there are some key differences between the Symbol and Char data types.

Nulls and Infinites

Most q datatypes have the concepts of null, negative infinity, and infinity. Python does not have the concept of infinites and it's null behaviour differs in implementation. The page handling nulls and infinities details the needed considerations when dealing with these special values.

Temporal types

Timestamp/Datetime types

Particular care is needed when converting temporal types as Python and q use different epoch values:

  • q 2000
  • Python 1970

Note: The following details focus on NumPy but similar considerations should be taken in to account when converting Python, Pandas, and PyArrow objects.

The 30 year epoch offset means there are times which are unreachable in one or the other language:

TimestampVector datetime64[ns]
Minimum value 1707.09.22D00:12:43.145224194 1677-09-21T00:12:43.145224194
Maximum value 2292.04.10D23:47:16.854775806 2262-04-11T23:47:16.854775807

As such the range of times which can be directly converted should be considered:

  • Minimum value: 1707-09-22T00:12:43.145224194
  • Maximum value: 2262-04-11T23:47:16.854775807

As mentioned above most q data types have null, negative infinity, and infinity values.

q representation datetime64[ns]
Null 0Np NaT
Negative Infinity -0Wp 1707-09-22T00:12:43.145224193
Infinity 0Wp Overflow cannot be represented

Converting from q to NumPy using .np(), 0Np and -0Wp convert to meaningful values but 0Wp overflows:

>>> kx.q('0N -0W 0Wp').np()
array(['NaT', '1707-09-22T00:12:43.145224193', '1707-09-22T00:12:43.145224191'], dtype='datetime64[ns]')

Converting to q using toq by default only the NumPy maximum values converts to a meaningful value:

>>> arr = np.array(['NaT', '1677-09-21T00:12:43.145224194', '2262-04-11T23:47:16.854775807'], dtype='datetime64[ns]')
>>> kx.toq(arr)
pykx.TimestampVector(pykx.q('2262.04.11D23:47:16.854775808 2262.04.11D23:47:16.854775810 2262.04.11D23:47:16.854775807'))

To additionally handle NaT being converted the handle_nulls keyword can be used:

>>> arr = np.array(['NaT', '1677-09-21T00:12:43.145224194', '2262-04-11T23:47:16.854775807'], dtype='datetime64[ns]', handle_nulls=True)
>>> kx.toq(arr)
pykx.TimestampVector(pykx.q('0N 2262.04.11D23:47:16.854775810 2262.04.11D23:47:16.854775807'))

Using raw=True we can request that the epoch offset is not applied. This allows for the underlying numeric values to be accessed directly:

>>> kx.q('0N -0W 0Wp').np(raw=True)
array([-9223372036854775808, -9223372036854775807,  9223372036854775807])

Passing back to q with toq these are then presented as the long null, negative infinity, and infinity:

>>> kx.toq(kx.q('0N -0W 0Wp').np(raw=True))
pykx.LongVector(pykx.q('0N -0W 0W'))

ktype can be passed during toq to specify desired types:

>>> kx.toq(pd.DataFrame(data= {'d':np.array(['2020-09-08T07:06:05'], dtype='datetime64[s]')}), ktype={'d':kx.DateVector})

Note that:

  • Dictionary based conversion is only supported when operating in licensed mode.
  • Data is first converted to the default type and then cast to the desired type.

Other items of note:

  • In NumPy further data types exist datetime64[us], datetime64[ms], datetime64[s] which due to their lower precision have a wider range of dates they can represent. When converted using to q using toq these all present as q Timestamp type and as such only dates within the range this data type can represent should be converted.
  • Pandas 2.* changes behavior and conversions should be reviewed as part of an upgrade of this package. PyKX to Pythonic data type mapping includes examples showing differences seen when calling .pd().

Duration types

Duration types do not have the issue of epoch offsets but some range limitations exist when converting between Python and PyKX.

kx.SecondVector and kx.MinuteVector convert to timedelta64[s]:

q representation timedelta64[s]
kx.SecondVector Null 0Nv NaT
kx.SecondVector Negative Infinity -0Wv -24856 days +20:45:53
kx.SecondVector Infinity 0Wv 24855 days 03:14:07
kx.MinuteVector Null 0Nu NaT
kx.MinuteVector Negative Infinity -0Wu -1491309 days +21:53:00
kx.MinuteVector Infinity 0Wu 1491308 days 02:07:00

When converting Python to q using toq care must be taken as timedelta64[s] is 64 bit and converts to kx.SecondVector which is 32 bit:

SecondVector timedelta64[s]
Minimum value **:14:06 106751991167300 days 15:30:07
Maximum value -**:14:06 -106751991167301 days +08:29:53

As such the range of times which can be directly converted should be considered:

  • Minimum value: -24856 days +20:45:54
  • Maximum value: 24855 days 03:14:06

q does not display values of second type over 99:59:59, beyond this ** is displayed in the hour field. The data is still stored correctly and will display when converted:

>>> kx.q('99:59:59 +1')
>>> kx.q('99:59:59 +1').pd()
Timedelta('4 days 04:00:00')