Fix ValueError: Sequence Too Large Easily - Solve Cannot Be Greater Than 32 Error in Python

In this guide, we'll explore how to fix the ValueError: sequence too large; cannot be greater than 32 error in Python. This error occurs when you try to create a sequence with a length greater than 32 using the itertools.product() function. We'll walk through the steps to resolve this issue and understand the underlying reason behind this limitation.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the 'Cannot Be Greater Than 32' Error
  2. Alternative Solutions to itertools.product()
  1. FAQ

Understanding the 'Cannot Be Greater Than 32' Error

The itertools.product() function is used to generate the Cartesian product of input iterables. It is equivalent to nested for loops. However, this function has a limitation where the input sequence length cannot be greater than 32. This limitation is due to the implementation details of CPython, the most widely-used Python interpreter. The reason is to prevent excessive memory usage and improve performance.

Here's an example of code that would cause this error:

import itertools

sequence = range(33)
result = list(itertools.product(sequence, repeat=2))

In this example, we're trying to create a Cartesian product of a sequence with a length of 33, which is greater than the allowed limit of 32. This would raise the following error:

ValueError: sequence too large; cannot be greater than 32

Alternative Solutions to itertools.product()

If you need to create a Cartesian product of sequences with lengths greater than 32, you can use one of the following alternative solutions:

Using Nested For Loops

One straightforward solution is to use nested for loops to generate the Cartesian product. Here's an example:

sequence = range(33)
result = [(i, j) for i in sequence for j in sequence]

Using Custom Generator Functions

Another approach is to create a custom generator function to generate the Cartesian product. This method is more memory-efficient than using list comprehensions, as it yields the results one by one instead of creating a list in memory. Here's an example:

def cartesian_product(seq1, seq2):
    for i in seq1:
        for j in seq2:
            yield (i, j)

sequence = range(33)
result = cartesian_product(sequence, sequence)

for item in result:


Q1: Can I use itertools.product() with other Python interpreters to bypass the 32-limit?

No, the limitation is present in the itertools.product() implementation and not specific to CPython. Therefore, using other Python interpreters would not help bypass this limit.

Q2: Is there any performance difference between itertools.product() and nested for loops?

itertools.product() is implemented in C, making it faster than nested for loops in most cases. However, for sequences larger than 32, you'll need to use one of the alternative solutions provided in this guide.

Q3: How can I generate the Cartesian product of more than two sequences?

You can modify the custom generator function to accept a list of sequences and generate the Cartesian product of all of them. Alternatively, you can use nested for loops or list comprehensions for this purpose.

Q4: Can I use the itertools.product() function with non-integer sequences?

Yes, the itertools.product() function works with any iterable, not just integer sequences. You can use it with lists, tuples, strings, and other iterables.

Q5: Are there any third-party libraries that can generate large Cartesian products without the 32-limit?

Yes, you can use third-party libraries like more-itertools or numpy to generate large Cartesian products without the 32-limit. However, keep in mind that these libraries may have their own limitations and performance trade-offs.

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