Read, Write, and Convert Cosmology Objects

For temporary storage an easy means to serialize and deserialize a Cosmology object is using the pickle module. This is good for e.g. passing a Cosmology between threads.

>>> import pickle
>>> from astropy.cosmology import Planck18
>>> with open("planck18.pkl", mode="wb") as file:
...     pickle.dump(Planck18, file)
>>> # and to read back
>>> with open("planck18.pkl", mode="rb") as file:
...     cosmo = pickle.load(file)
>>> cosmo
FlatLambdaCDM(name="Planck18", ...

However this method has all the attendant drawbacks of pickle — security vulnerabilities and non-human-readable files. Pickle files just generally don’t make for good persistent storage.

Solving both these issues, astropy provides a unified interface for reading and writing data in different formats.

Getting Started

The Cosmology class includes two methods, read() and write(), that make it possible to read from and write to files.

Currently the only registered read / write format is “ascii.ecsv”, like for Table. Also, custom read / write formats may be registered into the Astropy Cosmology I/O framework.

Writing a cosmology instance requires only the file location and optionally, if the file format cannot be inferred, a keyword argument “format”. Additional positional arguments and keyword arguments are passed to the reader methods.

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Planck18
>>> Planck18.write("example_cosmology.ecsv", format="ascii.ecsv")

Reading back the cosmology is most safely done from Cosmology, the base class, as it provides no default information and therefore requires the file to have all necessary information to describe a cosmology.

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology
>>> cosmo = Cosmology.read("example_cosmology.ecsv", format="ascii.ecsv")
>>> cosmo == Planck18
True

To see a list of the available read/write file formats:

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology
>>> Cosmology.read.list_formats()
  Format   Read Write Auto-identify
---------- ---- ----- -------------
ascii.ecsv  Yes   Yes           Yes
  myformat  Yes   Yes           Yes

This list will include both built-in and registered 3rd-party formats. “myformat” is from an example 3rd-party package.

When a subclass of Cosmology is used to read a file, the subclass will provide a keyword argument cosmology=<class> to the registered read method. The method uses this cosmology class, regardless of the class indicated in the file, and sets parameters’ default values from the class’ signature.

>>> from astropy.cosmology import FlatLambdaCDM
>>> cosmo = FlatLambdaCDM.read('<file name>')
>>> cosmo == Planck18
True

Reading and writing Cosmology objects go through intermediate representations, often a dict or QTable instance. These intermediate representations are accessible through the methods to_format() / from_format().

To see the a list of the available conversion formats:

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology
>>> Cosmology.to_format.list_formats()
    Format    Read Write Auto-identify
------------- ---- ----- -------------
astropy.model  Yes   Yes           Yes
astropy.table  Yes   Yes           Yes
      mapping  Yes   Yes           Yes
    mypackage  Yes   Yes           Yes

This list will include both built-in and registered 3rd-party formats. For instance, in the above, “mapping” is built-in while “mypackage” and is from an example 3rd-party package.

to_format() / from_format() parse a Cosmology to/from another python object. This can be useful for e.g., iterating through an MCMC of cosmological parameters or printing out a cosmological model to a journal format, like latex or HTML. When 3rd party cosmology packages register with Astropy’s Cosmology I/O, to/from_format can be used to convert cosmology instances between packages!

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Planck18
>>> cm = Planck18.to_format("mapping")
>>> cm
{'cosmology': <class 'astropy.cosmology.flrw.FlatLambdaCDM'>,
 'name': 'Planck18',
 'H0': <Quantity 67.66 km / (Mpc s)>,
 'Om0': 0.30966,
 ...

Now this dict can be used to load a new cosmological instance identical to the Planck18 cosmology from which it was created.

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology
>>> cosmo = Cosmology.from_format(cm, format="mapping")
>>> cosmo == Planck18
True

Another pre-registered format is “table”, for converting a Cosmology to and from a QTable.

>>> ct = Planck18.to_format("astropy.table")
>>> ct
<QTable length=1>
  name        H0        Om0    Tcmb0    Neff    m_nu [3]    Ob0
         km / (Mpc s)            K                 eV
  str8     float64    float64 float64 float64   float64   float64
-------- ------------ ------- ------- ------- ----------- -------
Planck18        67.66 0.30966  2.7255   3.046 0.0 .. 0.06 0.04897

Cosmology supports the astropy Table-like protocol (see Table-like Objects) to the same effect:

>>> from astropy.table import QTable
>>> ct = QTable(Planck18)
>>> ct
<QTable length=1>
  name        H0        Om0    Tcmb0    Neff    m_nu [3]    Ob0
         km / (Mpc s)            K                 eV
  str8     float64    float64 float64 float64   float64   float64
-------- ------------ ------- ------- ------- ----------- -------
Planck18        67.66 0.30966  2.7255   3.046 0.0 .. 0.06 0.04897

Now this QTable can be used to load a new cosmological instance identical to the Planck18 cosmology from which it was created.

>>> cosmo = Cosmology.from_format(ct, format="astropy.table")
>>> cosmo
FlatLambdaCDM(name="Planck18", H0=67.7 km / (Mpc s), Om0=0.31,
              Tcmb0=2.725 K, Neff=3.05, m_nu=[0. 0. 0.06] eV, Ob0=0.049)

Perhaps more usefully, QTable can be saved to latex and html formats, which can be copied into journal articles and websites, respectively.

Using format="astropy.model any redshift(s) method of a cosmology may be turned into a astropy.modeling.Model. Each Cosmology Parameter is converted to a astropy.modeling.Model Parameter and the redshift-method to the model’s __call__ / evaluate. Now you can fit cosmologies with data!

>>> model = Planck18.to_format("astropy.model", method="lookback_time")
>>> model
<FlatLambdaCDMCosmologyLookbackTimeModel(H0=67.66 km / (Mpc s), Om0=0.30966,
    Tcmb0=2.7255 K, Neff=3.046, m_nu=[0.  , 0.  , 0.06] eV, Ob0=0.04897,
    name='Planck18')>

Like for the other formats, the Planck18 cosmology can be recovered with from_format.

Custom Cosmology To/From Formats

Custom representation formats may also be registered into the Astropy Cosmology I/O framework for use by these methods. For details of the framework see I/O Registry (astropy.io.registry). Note Cosmology to/from_format uses a custom registry, available at Cosmology.<to/from>_format.registry.

As an example, the following is an implementation of an astropy.table.Row converter. We can and should use inbuilt parsers, like QTable, but to show a more complete example we limit ourselves to only the “mapping” parser.

We start by defining the function to parse a astropy.table.Row into a Cosmology. This function should take 1 positional argument, the row object, and 2 keyword arguments, for how to handle extra metadata and which Cosmology class to use. Details about metadata treatment are in Cosmology.from_format.help("mapping").

>>> import copy
>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology

>>> def from_table_row(row, *, move_to_meta=False, cosmology=None):
...     # get name from column
...     name = row['name'] if 'name' in row.columns else None
...     meta = copy.deepcopy(row.meta)
...     # turn row into mapping (dict of the arguments)
...     mapping = dict(row)
...     mapping['name'] = name
...     mapping["meta"] = meta
...     # build cosmology from map
...     return Cosmology.from_format(mapping, move_to_meta=move_to_meta,
...                                  cosmology=cosmology)

The next step is a function to perform the reverse operation: parse a Cosmology into a Row. This function requires only the cosmology object and a *args to absorb unneeded information passed by astropy.io.registry.UnifiedReadWrite (which implements astropy.cosmology.Cosmology.to_format()).

>>> from astropy.table import QTable

>>> def to_table_row(cosmology, *args):
...     p = cosmology.to_format("mapping")
...     p["cosmology"] = p["cosmology"].__qualname__  # as string
...     meta = p.pop("meta")
...     # package parameters into lists for Table parsing
...     params = {k: [v] for k, v in p.items()}
...     return QTable(params, meta=meta)[0]  # return row

Last we write a function to help with format auto-identification and then register everything into astropy.io.registry.

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology
>>> from astropy.cosmology.connect import convert_registry
>>> from astropy.table import Row

>>> def row_identify(origin, format, *args, **kwargs):
...     """Identify if object uses the Table format."""
...     if origin == "read":
...         return isinstance(args[1], Row) and (format in (None, "row"))
...     return False

>>> convert_registry.register_reader("row", Cosmology, from_table_row)
>>> convert_registry.register_writer("row", Cosmology, to_table_row)
>>> convert_registry.register_identifier("row", Cosmology, row_identify)

Now the registered functions can be used in astropy.cosmology.Cosmology.from_format() and astropy.cosmology.Cosmology.to_format().

>>> from astropy.cosmology import Planck18
>>> row = Planck18.to_format("row")
>>> row
<Row index=0>
  cosmology     name        H0        Om0    Tcmb0    Neff    m_nu [3]    Ob0
                       km / (Mpc s)            K                 eV
    str13       str8     float64    float64 float64 float64   float64   float64
------------- -------- ------------ ------- ------- ------- ----------- -------
FlatLambdaCDM Planck18        67.66 0.30966  2.7255   3.046 0.0 .. 0.06 0.04897

>>> cosmo = Cosmology.from_format(row)
>>> cosmo == Planck18  # test it round-trips
True
:hide:

>>> from astropy.io.registry import IORegistryError
>>> convert_registry.unregister_reader("row", Cosmology)
>>> convert_registry.unregister_writer("row", Cosmology)
>>> convert_registry.unregister_identifier("row", Cosmology)
>>> try:
...     convert_registry.get_reader("row", Cosmology)
... except IORegistryError:
...     pass

Custom Cosmology Readers/Writers

Custom read / write formats may be registered into the Astropy Cosmology I/O framework. For details of the framework see I/O Registry (astropy.io.registry). Note Cosmology read/write uses a custom registry, available at Cosmology.<read/write>.registry.

As an example, in the following we will fully work out a Cosmology <-> JSON (de)serializer. Note that we can use other registered parsers – here “mapping” – to make the implementation much simpler.

We start by defining the function to parse JSON into a Cosmology. This function should take 1 positional argument, the file object or file path. We will also pass kwargs through to from_format(), which handles metadata and which Cosmology class to use. Details of are in Cosmology.from_format.help("mapping").

>>> import json, os
>>> import astropy.units as u
>>> from astropy.cosmology import Cosmology

>>> def read_json(filename, **kwargs):
...     # read file, from path-like or file-like
...     if isinstance(filename, (str, bytes, os.PathLike)):
...         with open(filename, "r") as file:
...             data = file.read()
...     else:  # file-like : this also handles errors in dumping
...         data = filename.read()
...     mapping = json.loads(data)  # parse json mappable to dict
...     # deserialize Quantity
...     for k, v in mapping.items():
...         if isinstance(v, dict) and "value" in v and "unit" in v:
...             mapping[k] = u.Quantity(v["value"], v["unit"])
...     for k, v in mapping.get("meta", {}).items():  # also the metadata
...         if isinstance(v, dict) and "value" in v and "unit" in v:
...             mapping["meta"][k] = u.Quantity(v["value"], v["unit"])
...     return Cosmology.from_format(mapping, **kwargs)

The next step is a function to write a Cosmology to JSON. This function requires the cosmology object and a file object/path. We also require the boolean flag “overwrite” to set behavior for existing files. Note that Quantity is not natively compatible with JSON. In both the write and read methods we have to create custom parsers.

>>> def write_json(cosmology, file, *, overwrite=False, **kwargs):
...    data = cosmology.to_format("mapping")  # start by turning into dict
...    data["cosmology"] = data["cosmology"].__name__  # change class field to str
...    # serialize Quantity
...    for k, v in data.items():
...        if isinstance(v, u.Quantity):
...            data[k] = {"value": v.value.tolist(), "unit": str(v.unit)}
...    for k, v in data.get("meta", {}).items():  # also serialize the metadata
...        if isinstance(v, u.Quantity):
...            data["meta"][k] = {"value": v.value.tolist(), "unit": str(v.unit)}
...
...    if isinstance(file, (str, bytes, os.PathLike)):
...        # check that file exists and whether to overwrite.
...        if os.path.exists(file) and not overwrite:
...            raise IOError(f"{file} exists. Set 'overwrite' to write over.")
...        with open(file, "w") as write_file:
...            json.dump(data, write_file)
...    else:
...        json.dump(data, file)

Last we write a function to help with format auto-identification and then register everything into astropy.io.registry.

>>> from astropy.cosmology.connect import readwrite_registry

>>> def json_identify(origin, filepath, fileobj, *args, **kwargs):
...     """Identify if object uses the JSON format."""
...     return filepath is not None and filepath.endswith(".json")

>>> readwrite_registry.register_reader("json", Cosmology, read_json)
>>> readwrite_registry.register_writer("json", Cosmology, write_json)
>>> readwrite_registry.register_identifier("json", Cosmology, json_identify)

Now the registered functions can be used in astropy.cosmology.Cosmology.read() and astropy.cosmology.Cosmology.write().

>>> import tempfile
>>> from astropy.cosmology import Planck18
>>>
>>> file = tempfile.NamedTemporaryFile()
>>> Planck18.write(file.name, format="json", overwrite=True)
>>> with open(file.name) as f: f.readlines()
['{"cosmology": "FlatLambdaCDM", "name": "Planck18",
   "H0": {"value": 67.66, "unit": "km / (Mpc s)"}, "Om0": 0.30966,
   ...
>>>
>>> cosmo = Cosmology.read(file.name, format="json")
>>> file.close()
>>> cosmo == Planck18  # test it round-trips
True
:hide:

>>> from astropy.io.registry import IORegistryError
>>> readwrite_registry.unregister_reader("json", Cosmology)
>>> readwrite_registry.unregister_writer("json", Cosmology)
>>> readwrite_registry.unregister_identifier("json", Cosmology)
>>> try:
...     readwrite_registry.get_reader("json", Cosmology)
... except IORegistryError:
...     pass

Reference/API

astropy.cosmology.connect Module

Classes

CosmologyRead(instance, cosmo_cls)

Read and parse data to a Cosmology.

CosmologyWrite(instance, cls)

Write this Cosmology object out in the specified format.

CosmologyFromFormat(instance, cosmo_cls)

Transform object to a Cosmology.

CosmologyToFormat(instance, cls)

Transform this Cosmology to another format.

Class Inheritance Diagram

Inheritance diagram of astropy.cosmology.connect.CosmologyRead, astropy.cosmology.connect.CosmologyWrite, astropy.cosmology.connect.CosmologyFromFormat, astropy.cosmology.connect.CosmologyToFormat

astropy.cosmology.io.mapping Module

The following are private functions, included here FOR REFERENCE ONLY since the io registry cannot be displayed. These functions are registered into to_format() and from_format() and should only be accessed via these methods.