In mathematics, the **symmetric difference** of two sets is the set of all elements which are in either one set but not the other, or in both sets but not in common. It’s a way of finding out what’s unique to each set.

Python offers a library for data structures and algorithms, which is called “set.” The set type has many interesting features, but one of the most noteworthy is its support for the symmetric difference operation.

In Python, there’s a handy built-in function for working with **symmetric difference** of sets. This post will explore what the symmetric difference is and how to use it in Python. After reading this post, you should have a good understanding of how to use sets in your own programs. Let’s take a look at how it works.

Table of Contents

## What is Python symmetric_difference()?

The symmetric difference of two sets A and B is the set of elements that are in either A or B, but not in their intersection.

Python symmetric_difference( ) is a set difference operation that returns the symmetric difference of two sets.

There are two methods to find symmetric difference of two or more sets with Python symmetric_difference( ).

- symmetric_difference( ) method
- symmetric difference operator (^)

### 1. Using symmetric_difference Method

In Python sets, there is a symmetric_difference() method that gives symmetric difference of two or more sets in output.

The syntax is given as

`define_set = myset1.symmetric_difference(myset2, myset3,...) `

Let’s study few examples for better understanding.

#### Example# 01

```
myset2 = {'Lion', 'Rabbit', 'Zebra'}
set_difference = myset1.symmetric_difference(myset2)
print(set_difference )
```

##### Output

#### Example# 02

```
myset1 = {'apple', 'banana', 'orange', 'mango'}
myset2 = {'orange', 'strawberry', 'mango'}
myset3 = {'apple'}
set_difference1 = myset1.symmetric_difference(myset2)
set_difference2 = myset2.symmetric_difference(myset3)
set_difference3 = myset1.symmetric_difference(myset3)
print(set_difference1)
print(set_difference2)
print(set_difference3)
```

##### Output

### 2. Using Symmetric Difference Operator (^)

There is another way of finding symmetric difference other than using method. We can find python symmetric difference between two or more sets using symmetric difference operator(^).

The syntax is given as

`define_set = myset1 ^ myset2 ^... `

Here are two examples to understand the use of symmetric difference operator(^)**.**

#### Example# 01

```
myset1 = {'Zebra', 'Elephant', 'Lion', 'Leopard'}
myset2 = {'Lion', 'Rabbit', 'Zebra'}
set_difference = myset1 ^ myset2
print(set_difference)
```

##### Output

#### Example# 02

```
myset1 = {'apple', 'banana', 'orange', 'mango'}
myset2 = {'orange', 'strawberry', 'mango'}
myset3 = {'apple'}
set_difference1 = myset1 ^ myset2
set_difference2 = myset2 ^ myset3
set_difference3 = myset1 ^ myset3
print(set_difference1)
print(set_difference2)
print(set_difference3)
```

##### Output

## Symmetric_difference( ) method vs Symmetric difference operator (^)

The Python symmetric_difference() method can be used to compute the symmetric difference of two sets. The symmetric difference operator (^) can also be used to compute the symmetric difference of two sets, but it is implemented using the set operations union() and intersection(). Therefore, the two implementations are equivalent.

## FAQs

### What are the benefits of using symmetric difference python over other types of diff algorithms?

There are many diff algorithms available, but symmetric difference python is considered to be one of the best because it is fast and efficient. Additionally, it has a smaller memory footprint, so it is suitable for large files. Another benefit is that it supports multiple differencing paths, so it can handle problems that other diff algorithms cannot. Overall, symmetric difference python is a good choice for those who need an efficient and fast diff algorithm.

### Is it possible to implement symmetric difference in pure Python?

There is not a built-in function for symmetric difference in pure Python, but it is possible to implement the same using a suitable library. For example, the symmetric_difference function from the numpy library can be used to perform the task.

### How do you compute the symmetric difference of two numbers using Python?

To compute the symmetric difference of two numbers, you first need to create a list of the two numbers. Next, you will need to use the modulo operator to subtract the first number from the second number, and then divide the result by the modulo operator. This will give you the symmetric difference of the two numbers.

## Conclusion

We’ve looked at two different ways of symmetric difference of two sets. The first was using the Python set method, symmetric_difference(). The second way was using the ^ operator for sets. Both methods produce the same result, a new set that is the symmetric difference of the original two sets.

Also learn about Hashmap in Python.