Python Tutorial



Python Tutorial

Matrix Multiplication in Python


Matrix multiplication is a fundamental operation in linear algebra, used in various fields such as physics, engineering, computer graphics, and machine learning. In Python, you can perform matrix multiplication efficiently using different methods and libraries. This guide will explore matrix multiplication in Python, including various techniques and tools for performing this operation.


Matrices serve as fundamental mathematical constructs that find widespread applications across diverse fields such as mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and more. In specific contexts, such as deep learning and various statistical tasks, matrices and their operations, including multiplication and matrix addition in Python, play a crucial role in generating predictions based on input data.

Matrix multiplication, a concept first elucidated by Jacques Binet in 1812, constitutes a binary operation that involves two matrices, each possessing dimensions denoted as (a×b) and (b×c). The outcome of this operation is yet another matrix, referred to as the product matrix, with dimensions (a×c). While the process of matrix multiplication may appear intricate initially, it essentially adheres to a straightforward method.

Calculating the product of two matrices, A and B, denoted as AB, involves the following sequential steps:

1. Ensure that the first matrix, A, possesses an equal number of rows as the second matrix, B, has columns. In simpler terms, their dimensions must align in the format of (a×b) and (b×c) respectively. Without this alignment, multiplication between the matrices is not feasible.

2. Initialize an empty matrix, denoted as C, which will ultimately store the product.

3. Iterate through all combinations of indices (i, j), where 0 <= i < a and 0 <= j < c:

Extract the ith row from matrix A and the jth column from matrix B. Proceed to multiply corresponding elements at the same index, effectively forming a series of products.

Sum up the products obtained in the previous step.

Place this sum in the cell located at the intersection of row i and column j within the product matrix C.

4. As a final validation step, ensure that the resultant product matrix adheres to the dimensions (a×c). This step confirms the correctness of the matrix multiplication process.

Python Program to Multiply Two Matrices

Matrix multiplication in Java is a binary operation that takes a pair of matrices and produces another matrix. It combines elements from the rows of the first matrix with the columns of the second.

Matrix multiplication

Matrix multiplication is a fundamental mathematical operation that results in the creation of a brand-new matrix by multiplying two pre-existing matrices. This intricate process involves executing precise arithmetic operations on elements found in corresponding positions within the original matrices. Each element in the resulting matrix is determined through these operations, making matrix multiplication a powerful mathematical tool.

A crucial aspect to bear in mind is that matrix multiplication adheres to specific rules. It is a valid operation only when the number of columns in the first matrix aligns perfectly with the number of rows in the second matrix. This alignment is paramount for the multiplication to yield meaningful results, underscoring the importance of dimension compatibility.

In the world of Python, matrices are frequently represented using nested lists. Within this representation, each element in the outer list corresponds directly to a row within the matrix. For instance, envision a 3×2 matrix denoted as X = [[1, 2], [4, 5], [3, 6]]. In this arrangement, each sub-list signifies a row, and the values inside these sub-lists denote the elements in their respective columns.

Accessing specific elements within a matrix in Python involves utilizing indices. For example, should you wish to retrieve the first row of the matrix X, you can employ the notation X[0]. Similarly, if you aim to pinpoint a particular element, X[0][0] provides the means to reference the element at the intersection of the first row and the first column. This indexing system facilitates precise data extraction within matrices, enabling you to work with the information as needed.

Multiplication of two matrices 

Matrix multiplication in Python involves taking the dot product of rows from the first matrix with columns from the second. This operation requires the number of columns in the first matrix to be equal to the number of rows in the second for it to be valid.

Using nested for loop method

In this method for matrix multiplication in Python, we employ a nested for loop to multiply two matrices and store the resulting values in a third matrix.

While this approach is straightforward, it becomes computationally intensive as the matrix size increases. For larger matrix operations, we recommend using NumPy because it can be significantly faster (in the order of 1000 times) than the code described above.

# multiply two matrices using nested for loops
# 3x3 matrix
A = [[1,2,3],

# 3x4 matrix
B = [[1,2,3,4],

# result is 3x4
result = [[0,0,0,0],

# iterate across Matrix A rows
for i in range(len(A)):
    # iterate through Matrix B columns
    for j in range(len(B[0])):
        # iterate through rows of Matrix B
        for k in range(len(B)):
            result[i][j] += A[i][k] * B[k][j]  # Corrected line

print('Multiplied Matrix:')
for r in result:


Multiplied Matrix:
[18, 24, 30, 36]
[45, 60, 75, 90]
[72, 96, 120, 144]

Here's an explanation of the program:

First, we define and initialize a collection of variables that will be utilized throughout the program.

The initial matrix will be found in A.

The second matrix will be stored in B.

The values of the generated matrices will be stored in the result.

Iteration is accomplished with i, j, and k.

In our program, we utilize nested for loops to traverse through each row and column. The matrix inverse Python multiplication is done by multiplying the corresponding elements of the first matrix (A) by the associated elements of the second matrix (B) throughout each iteration.

Using nested list comprehension method

The outcomes yielded by this code are consistent with those of the prior example. In this matrix multiplication list comprehension Python, we leverage the power of nested list comprehensions to compute the product of two given matrices.

This method includes iteratively going over each matrix member using nested list comprehensions, which results in less Python code. 

To fully grasp and utilize this method, a solid comprehension of the built-in `zip()` function and the ability to unpack argument lists using the `*` operators are crucial.

# Program to multiply two matrices using list comprehension

# 3x3 matrix

A = [[1,2,3],



# 3x4 matrix

B = [[1,2,3,4],



# result is 3x4

result = ''[[sum(a*b for a,b in zip(A_row, B col)) for B_col in zip(*B)] for A_row in A]"

print('Multiplied Matrix:')

for r in result:



Multiplied Matrix:
[17, 26, 35, 44]
[41, 62, 83, 104]
[65, 98, 131, 164]

Vectorization in Python

An essential Python concept to grasp before delving into the next approach for implementing our matrix multiplication program is vectorization.

Vectorization involves the execution of loops without the need to explicitly create them. It harnesses the power of NumPy methods, leveraging pre-compiled and optimized C-code, as well as potential parallel processing capabilities (if supported by the hardware) to perform rapid and efficient looping operations. Extensive benchmarking on substantial datasets has demonstrated that vectorization can yield a significant boost in performance compared to conventional Python loops. It is strongly advisable for readers to explore the performance results of vectorization and observe the contrast with traditional loops.

Methods for vectorization include:

1. Using the `numpy.vectorize()` method.

2. Utilizing matrix multiplication methods available in NumPy.

As stated in the numpy.vectorize() documentation:

"The vectorize function is provided primarily for convenience, not for performance. The implementation is essentially a for loop."

It's important to note that using `vectorize()` in a nested manner can introduce complexity to the code and may lead to reduced code readability. Given that matrix multiplication inherently involves three nested loops, it is recommended not to employ the `np.vectorize()` method for this purpose. Consequently, we will proceed with implementing our code using the second method listed for vectorization.

Methods for vectorization

In Python, there are several methods for vectorization, which means performing operations on entire arrays or matrices efficiently without explicitly writing loops. Here are two common methods for vectorization using NumPy:

1. Using numpy.vectorize() Method

The numpy matrix multiplication method allows you to vectorize a custom Python function so that it can be applied element-wise to NumPy arrays. It essentially wraps a Python function, making it compatible with NumPy arrays. Here's how to use it:

import numpy as np
# Define a custom Python function
def custom_function(x):
    return x * 2
# Vectorize the custom function
vectorized_function = np.vectorize(custom_function)
# Create a NumPy array
arr = np.array([1, 2, 3, 4, 5])
# Apply the vectorized function to the array
result = vectorized_function(arr)
print(result)  # Output: [ 2  4  6  8 10]

In this example, we define a custom function custom_function that doubles the input value. We then use np.vectorize() to create a vectorized version of this function, which we apply to a NumPy array arr. The vectorized function applies the doubling operation to each element in the array, resulting in the result array.

2. Using Matrix Multiplication Methods in NumPy

NumPy, a powerful library for numerical computations in Python, offers optimized methods for matrix multiplication, ensuring efficient execution of element-wise operations. Among these, the and np.matmul() functions shine as versatile tools for matrix multiplication tasks.

Here's a practical example of how to leverage these NumPy functions:

import numpy as np
# Create two NumPy arrays
array_A = np.array([[1, 2], [3, 4]])
array_B = np.array([[5, 6], [7, 8]])
# Perform matrix multiplication using or np.matmul()
result =, array_B)
# OR
# result = np.matmul(array_A, array_B)

In this illustration, we initialize two NumPy arrays, array_A and array_B. We then employ either or np.matmul() to execute matrix multiplication between these arrays. The outcome is a fresh NumPy array housing the matrix product.

When it comes to dealing with matrices in Python, particularly when managing substantial datasets, NumPy's specialized matrix multiplication methods are highly efficient and the recommended approach. These functions significantly enhance code readability and efficiency, ensuring seamless operations on arrays and matrices when working with numerical data.


Matrix multiplication in Python is a crucial mathematical operation with applications spanning various fields, including mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and data analysis. Python provides multiple methods for performing matrix transpose in Python, ranging from basic nested loops to optimized libraries like NumPy.

Understanding the fundamental principles of matrix multiplication, such as ensuring compatibility of matrix dimensions and following a systematic approach to calculate the product matrix, is essential. Moreover, leveraging vectorization techniques in libraries like NumPy can significantly enhance the efficiency of matrix operations in Python without NumPy.


1. When should I use vectorization for matrix multiplication?

Vectorization, especially in NumPy, should be used for matrix multiplication when working with large datasets or performing complex matrix operations. It takes advantage of optimized C and Fortran code, making operations faster and more memory-efficient. 

2. Can I perform matrix multiplication using lists in Python without NumPy?

Yes, you can perform matrix multiplication using nested loops or list comprehensions in Python without NumPy. However, NumPy provides optimized functions for efficient matrix operations.

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