Adventures in Machine Learning

Streamlining Programming and Analysis Tasks with Absolute Value Functions

Programming provides us with numerous built-in functions designed to simplify coding tasks. One of these functions is the Python abs() function.

In this article, we’ll explore what this function does and how it works. Additionally, we will also discuss Pandas’ DataFrame.abs() function, which is a useful tool for data analysis.

Understanding Python abs() Function

The abs() function in Python is used to obtain the absolute magnitude or value of any given input or argument. It can be applied to integer, float, complex, or any number in Python.

The abs() function is one of the single-argument mathematical functions included in Python’s Standard Library, and it is frequently used for scientific calculations. The function returns a positive value for all negative numbers and zero and the same value for all other positive values.

To use the Python abs() function, you only need to pass a single argument to it, which can be a number, variable, or any other expression that results in a number. Here’s an example:


number = –


result = abs(number)







In this code snippet, the abs() function takes the integer value `-

10` as an argument and returns its absolute value `

10`. Pandas DataFrame.abs() function

The Pandas Dataframe.abs() function is a method provided by the Pandas library, which is widely used for data analysis in Python.

It returns a DataFrame or Series with absolute values of the given input data. The DataFrame.abs() method is especially useful for handling datasets containing negative values, for example, financial data containing losses or gains.

The method enables the user to obtain the absolute values of a DataFrame or a Series with a single function call. Here’s an example of how the Pandas DataFrame.abs() function can be used:


import pandas as pd

# Define data and column names

data = {‘Name’: [‘John’, ‘Michele’, ‘Smith’, ‘Joe’, ‘William’],

‘Salary’: [2000, -1500, -5000, 3500, -2000]}

df = pd.DataFrame(data)

# Obtain absolute salary values

df[‘Salary_Abs’] = df[‘Salary’].abs()

# Print the modified DataFrame





Name Salary Salary_Abs

0 John 2000 2000

1 Michele -1500 1500

2 Smith -5000 5000

3 Joe 3500 3500

4 William -2000 2000


In this example, we first imported the Pandas library and created a sample DataFrame with five rows and two columns – ‘Name’ and ‘Salary.’ Next, we called the abs() method on the ‘Salary’ column, specifying that the resulting column should be named ‘Salary_Abs.’ The abs() method creates a new column in the DataFrame with absolute values of the original ‘Salary’ column.

The Pandas DataFrame.abs() function is a useful tool in data analysis, especially when dealing with data sets that may contain negative data that requires the use of absolute values.


In conclusion, Python’s abs() function and Pandas’ DataFrame.abs() method are two useful functions that developers and data analysts can leverage to streamline their coding and analysis tasks. Understanding these functions can help improve the accuracy of calculations and analysis while reducing the amount of code required.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful for those getting started with Python programming or data analysis with Pandas.

3) NumPy absolute() function

NumPy is another popular Python library used for scientific computing and data manipulation. The numpy.absolute() function is a part of NumPy’s mathematical functions, and it helps in obtaining the absolute values of an array.

Overview of NumPy module and numpy.absolute() function

NumPy is a library in Python designed to handle large arrays and matrices. It provides a vast collection of functions to perform scientific computations.

NumPy’s absolute() function is one of the built-in functions that help in obtaining the absolute values of elements in an array. In NumPy, the absolute() function returns a new array containing the absolute values of the original array, excluding complex numbers.

For complex arrays, the absolute function returns the magnitude, which is the square root of the sum of the squares of the real part and the imaginary part. Syntax and example of using numpy.absolute() function to get absolute values of array elements

The NumPy absolute() function is straightforward to use, and it has a simple syntax.

Here is the syntax of the function:


numpy.absolute(x, out=None, where=True, casting=’same_kind’, order=’K’, dtype=None)



– `x` represents the input values. – `out` is the output array to be filled with results.

– `where` is a boolean array indicating where to compute the values. – `casting` is a casting rule for casting between types.

– `order` specifies whether to traverse an operand in row-major (C-style) or column-major (Fortran-style) order. – `dtype` is the return type of the result.

Here’s an example of how to use the numpy.absolute() function:


import numpy as np

data = np.array([[-1, 2, -3], [4, -5, 6], [-7, 8, -9]])

result = np.absolute(data)

print(“Original Array:n”, data)

print(“Absolute Value Array:n”,result)




Original Array:

[[-1 2 -3]

[ 4 -5 6]

[-7 8 -9]]

Absolute Value Array:

[[1 2 3]

[4 5 6]

[7 8 9]]


In this example, we imported the NumPy library using the alias `np` and created a NumPy array named `data`. We then used the np.absolute() function to obtain the absolute values of the elements in the array.

Finally, the results were printed out to the console.


In conclusion, we have explored three different methods to obtain absolute values in Python – Python’s built-in abs() function, Pandas’ DataFrame.abs() method, and NumPy’s absolute() function. The implementation of these functions is straightforward, and they help simplify code and enhance accuracy when dealing with negative values.

Overall, these functions are a useful tool for data analysts, scientific computing and programming. In summary, this article discussed the importance of obtaining absolute values in programming and data analysis.

We explored three different functions designed for this purpose: Python’s built-in abs() function, Pandas’ DataFrame.abs() method, and NumPy’s absolute() function. Each function was explained with examples and syntax to highlight their implementation and working.

In conclusion, the utilization of these functions is essential in enhancing accuracy and streamlining programming and data analysis tasks.

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