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Strategy

Strategy in Python

Strategy is a behavioral design pattern that turns a set of behaviors into objects and makes them interchangeable inside original context object.

The original object, called context, holds a reference to a strategy object and delegates it executing the behavior. In order to change the way the context performs its work, other objects may replace the currently linked strategy object with another one.

Learn more about Strategy

Usage of the pattern in Python

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Strategy pattern is very common in Python code. It’s often used in various frameworks to provide users a way to change the behavior of a class without extending it.

Identification: Strategy pattern can be recognized by a method that lets nested object do the actual work, as well as the setter that allows replacing that object with a different one.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Strategy design pattern. It focuses on answering these questions:

  • What classes does it consist of?
  • What roles do these classes play?
  • In what way the elements of the pattern are related?

main.py: Conceptual Example

from __future__ import annotations
from abc import ABC, abstractmethod
from typing import List


class Context():
    """
    The Context defines the interface of interest to clients.
    """

    def __init__(self, strategy: Strategy) -> None:
        """
        Usually, the Context accepts a strategy through the constructor, but
        also provides a setter to change it at runtime.
        """

        self._strategy = strategy

    @property
    def strategy(self) -> Strategy:
        """
        The Context maintains a reference to one of the Strategy objects. The
        Context does not know the concrete class of a strategy. It should work
        with all strategies via the Strategy interface.
        """

        return self._strategy

    @strategy.setter
    def strategy(self, strategy: Strategy) -> None:
        """
        Usually, the Context allows replacing a Strategy object at runtime.
        """

        self._strategy = strategy

    def do_some_business_logic(self) -> None:
        """
        The Context delegates some work to the Strategy object instead of
        implementing multiple versions of the algorithm on its own.
        """

        # ...

        print("Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)")
        result = self._strategy.do_algorithm(["a", "b", "c", "d", "e"])
        print(",".join(result))

        # ...


class Strategy(ABC):
    """
    The Strategy interface declares operations common to all supported versions
    of some algorithm.

    The Context uses this interface to call the algorithm defined by Concrete
    Strategies.
    """

    @abstractmethod
    def do_algorithm(self, data: List):
        pass


"""
Concrete Strategies implement the algorithm while following the base Strategy
interface. The interface makes them interchangeable in the Context.
"""


class ConcreteStrategyA(Strategy):
    def do_algorithm(self, data: List) -> List:
        return sorted(data)


class ConcreteStrategyB(Strategy):
    def do_algorithm(self, data: List) -> List:
        return reversed(sorted(data))


if __name__ == "__main__":
    # The client code picks a concrete strategy and passes it to the context.
    # The client should be aware of the differences between strategies in order
    # to make the right choice.

    context = Context(ConcreteStrategyA())
    print("Client: Strategy is set to normal sorting.")
    context.do_some_business_logic()
    print()

    print("Client: Strategy is set to reverse sorting.")
    context.strategy = ConcreteStrategyB()
    context.do_some_business_logic()

Output.txt: Execution result

Client: Strategy is set to normal sorting.
Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)
a,b,c,d,e

Client: Strategy is set to reverse sorting.
Context: Sorting data using the strategy (not sure how it'll do it)
e,d,c,b,a

Strategy in Other Languages

Design Patterns: Strategy in Java Design Patterns: Strategy in C# Design Patterns: Strategy in PHP Design Patterns: Strategy in Ruby Design Patterns: Strategy in Swift Design Patterns: Strategy in TypeScript