How to Invert Values in a Polars DataFrame

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to efficiently invert values within a Polars DataFrame. Explore the simplicity and power of using Polars, a high-performance DataFrame library in Python, for data manipulation tasks.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When working with data, there are instances where we need to invert values within our dataset. This can involve operations like negating numerical values or flipping boolean flags. With Polars, a fast DataFrame library designed for performance and efficiency, we can easily accomplish these transformations.

The solution involves applying specific operations based on the data type being manipulated. For numerical columns, inversion may involve multiplication by -1; for boolean columns, applying logical NOT; and for other data types, custom inversion logic may be necessary. By leveraging Polars, we can efficiently perform these transformations within a DataFrame.


import polars as pl

# Sample DataFrame creation
df = pl.DataFrame({
    "numbers": [1, -2, 3],
    "booleans": [True, False, True]

# Inverting numerical values
df_with_inverted_numbers = df.with_column(df["numbers"] * -1)

# Inverting boolean values
df_with_inverted_booleans = df.with_column(df["booleans"].is_not())

print("Original DataFrame:\n", df)
print("\nDataFrame with Inverted Numbers:\n", df_with_inverted_numbers)
print("\nDataFrame with Inverted Booleans:\n", df_with_inverted_booleans)

# Copyright PHD


  • Polars Initialization: Importing polars (as pl) is the first step to creating and manipulating DataFrames.
  • Creating a Sample DataFrame: The example DataFrame df contains columns for integers and Boolean values.
  • Inverting Numerical Values: Multiplying the “numbers” column by -1 inverts the numerical values.
  • Inverting Boolean Values: Using .is_not() on the “booleans” column flips the Boolean values.
  • Output Display: Print statements compare the original and modified DataFrames with inverted columns.

By mastering these concepts of modifying DataFrames through operations like multiplication or logical functions in Polars, users can efficiently handle complex data manipulations.

  1. Can I perform inversions on non-numerical/non-Boolean datatypes?

  2. While direct inversion may not apply to non-numeric or non-Boolean datatypes, custom logic can be implemented based on specific requirements.

  3. Is there a built-in function for inversion in Polars?

  4. There isn’t a single function that handles all types of inversions across different datatypes. Users typically apply specific functions like arithmetic negation or logical not operators as needed.

  5. Does this work similarly in Pandas?

  6. Pandas offers similar functionality but with potential syntactical differences. Operations like negation or boolean inversion exist in Pandas but might use different methods/APIs compared to Polars.

  7. Are there performance benefits of using Polars over Pandas?

  8. Yes! Polars excels in performance due to its efficient Rust implementation. It often outperforms Pandas when dealing with large datasets thanks to its speed and memory optimization capabilities.

  9. How are null/missing values handled during inversion?

  10. Polars gracefully handles nulls during operations like multiplication by -1 or .is_not(), preserving nullable column integrity without dropping valuable information during transformations.


By exploring examples of numeric and Boolean value inversions within a dataframe using Polards�a modern high-performance dataframe library�we have demonstrated practical solutions for common data manipulation tasks in Python projects. Harnessing Python’s ecosystem capabilities optimally is key to efficient data processing workflows.

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