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Type Conversion in Python

Module - 4 Data Structures in Python
Type Conversion in Python

Overview:

There are two strategies for changing data types in Python. In Python, type conversion implies changing a value from one data type into another. Python naturally changes one data type to another, utilizing implicit type conversion without user input.

Implicit and Explicit Type Conversions-min.png

Introduction:

Imagine you work for a financial institution that needs to perform calculations on user input data. Your task is to create a program that takes user input for a loan amount and interest rate, calculates the total interest payable on the loan, and displays it to the user.

The user inputs the loan amount and interest rate as strings, so you must convert them to numeric data types to perform the calculations. This is where implicit and explicit type conversion comes in handy.

There are fundamentally two kinds of data type conversion:

  1. Implicit
  2. Explicit

What is Implicit Type Conversion?

Implicit type conversion, also known as type coercion, refers to the automatic conversion of data from one data type to another data type by the programming language. This process happens without the explicit request of the programmer :woman_shrugging:. Typically, implicit type conversion occurs when the target data type has a larger storage size or range than the original data type, thus ensuring no data loss or precision during the conversion process ūüíĮ.

For example, converting an integer value to a floating point value would be implicit type conversion since a float can represent a more extensive range of values than an integer. Converting a float to an integer would result in data loss and thus requires explicit conversion, or casting, specified by the programmer .

Implicit type conversion allows programmers to write code without worrying about the specific data types of variables and expressions , as the programming language will automatically perform the necessary conversions in the background to complete the operation. This makes code easier to read and write but it can sometimes lead to unintended data loss if the programmer is not careful about how the types of their variables and expressions interact.

Example: Implicit Type Conversion of int to float:

a = 5
b = 2.5

# Implicit type conversion from int to float
total = a + b 

print(total)

The integer 'a' and float 'b' is added, converting 'a' to a float. The sum is stored as the float 'total'.

What is explicit type conversion?

Type casting allows programmers to seamlessly convert between data types to make their code more flexible, functional, and error-free. It gives more control over how values are represented and interpreted, which leads to more robust and versatile programs. Overall, typecasting is an important tool that all programmers should understand to craft high-quality code. 

Explicit type conversion, too known as type casting, is the deliberate process of changing a value from one data type to another data type. You usually finish by specifying the data type in brackets before the value you want to change over. For instance, you may change over the number 4 into a float, or decimal number, by writing (float) 4.

Type casting permits you to override the default data type that would regularly be assigned to a value and specify the type you'd lean toward instead. It gives you more control over the data types utilized in your program and can offer assistance in avoiding blunders that might happen if the value was interpreted as the wrong data type.

For illustration, if you wanted to perform numerical operations on the number 4 that require floating point values, indicating 4 would not work since 4 is a number. By casting 4 as a float using (drift) 4, you tell the program to treat that 4 as a float so that you can calculate 4.5 / 4 and get the reply 1.125. Without the typecasting, that operation would result in a blunder since you cannot divide a number by a float.

Example:

# Explicit type conversion

# Integer to String

a = 10

b = str(a)

print(type(b))

To convert an int (a) to a string (b), use str(a). This converts the int value a to string b, changing its type from int to str.

Conclusion:

This lesson clarifies the concepts of implicit and explicit type conversion in Python. Implicit type conversion refers to the automatic conversion of data types by the programming dialect. In contrast, explicit type change is the deliberate process of changing a value from one information sort to another. The lesson provides illustrations of both types of conversion and talks about their benefits and potential pitfalls.

Key Takeaways:

  1. This lesson explains the two Python methods for changing data types: implicit and explicit type conversion.
  2. Implicit type conversion refers to the automatic conversion of data from one data type to another data type by the programming language. In comparison, explicit type conversion is the deliberate process of changing a value from one data type to another data type.
  3. The lesson provides examples of both methods and discusses their benefits and potential pitfalls.
  4. In Python, data types are converted automatically without needing the user to do anything.
  5. Users can also explicitly convert data types using built-in functions like int(), float(), str(), etc.
  6. It is preferable to use explicit type conversion since it avoids errors.
  7. Be careful about converting between data types, as it can lead to unintended results.

Quiz:

  1. What is the result of "1" + 2 in Python? 
    1.  3  
    2. "12" 
    3.  Error 
    4.  "3"

Answer: B. "12" (Implicit Type Conversion)

  1. How does Python handle the conversion from a string to an integer? 
    1. Implicitly 
    2. Explicitly 
    3. Automatically 
    4. Manually

Answer: B. Explicitly (Explicit Type Conversion)

  1. What type of conversion is used when a boolean is converted to a string? 
    1. Implicit 
    2. Explicit 
    3. Static 
    4. Dynamic

Answer: B. Explicit

  1. What type of conversion is used when an integer is converted to a float? 
    1. Implicit 
    2. Explicit  
    3. Static 
    4. Dynamic

Answer: A. Implicit

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