PYTHON Create a global variable accessible to all processes


I am new to python and started using an genetic algorithm (GA) to do some sort of curve fitting. For that GA I am using the (awesome) pyevolve library ( that is able to reduce the calculation time enormously by using multiprocessing.

This is where my problem occurs: the curve that I want to approximate is an array that is read from an excel file and stored as an global variable at the beginning of my program. When using the python multiprocessing module, every process creates its own instance of python with its own global variable. That causes every individual, in every generation of the algorithm (means every process) to open and read the excel file again and again. Opening big excel files can cause an immense amount of time, so it would be nice to only have to open that file once and make the read array available to every process/individual.

The multiprocessing is initiated in the pyevolve library and I don't want to change it to keep it easy to update. Unfortunately this means just passing the variable to the process pool via e.g.

p = Process(target=my_func,args=(my_array))

is not an option for me. This is the only solution I found so far.

Does anyone know another way to make my_array accessible from every process?

Thanks in advance!

Check out mmap, the Python interface for creating memory mapped files that can be shared between processes. You probably want something like the following:

import mmap
import os
import ctypes

mm = mmap.mmap(-1, 13)
mm.write('Hello world!')

mm_addr = id(mm)

with open('shared_id', 'w') as f:

pid = os.fork()

if pid == 0:  # In a child process
    id_from_file = long(open('shared_id').read())
    loaded_mm = ctypes.cast(id_from_file, ctypes.py_object).value
    print loaded_mm.readline()

I used this question to figure out how to get the physical memory address of the shared memory map and convert it back to a Python object.

I suppose you could also do this with any object in memory instead of a mmap, but I haven't tried it.