Pandas TypeError: NDFrame.asof() got multiple values for argument ‘where’

Updated: February 22, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

Understanding the Error

This error typically arises when using the asof() method in Pandas and passing it an unexpected number of arguments or incorrectly passing the where argument. The asof() method is designed to merge on the nearest key rather than on an exact match, which is particularly useful in time-series data. However, this functionality can lead to errors if not used correctly. Let’s dive into the reasons behind this error and explore some solutions.

Why the Error Occurs?

The error message TypeError: NDFrame.asof() got multiple values for argument ‘where’ suggests that the where parameter has been provided more than once. This can happen if where is explicitly specified while also being passed through another dictionary or series of arguments. Pandas functions expect each parameter to be unique and cannot process duplicates.

Solutions to the Problem

Solution 1: Check for Duplicate Arguments

This solution involves carefully checking your code to ensure the where argument is only mentioned once in your asof() method call.

  1. Review the method call and spot any duplicated where arguments.
  2. Remove or consolidate the arguments to ensure where is uniquely passed.
  3. Execute your code again to see if the error persists.


import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': ['2020-01-01', '2020-02-01', '2020-03-01']})
df['B'] = pd.to_datetime(df['B'])

# Correct Usage
result = df.asof(where='2020-02-15')

Notes: Ensuring arguments aren’t duplicated is fundamental to preventing this and other similar errors. This method involves minimal code changes.

Solution 2: Use Keyword Arguments Only

Explicitly defining each argument with its keyword ensures that you don’t accidentally pass multiple values for the where argument.

  1. Identify all the arguments you’re passing to the asof() method.
  2. Convert all positional arguments to keyword arguments by explicitly stating their names.
  3. Rerun your code to check if the issue has been resolved.


import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': ['2020-01-01', '2020-02-01', '2020-03-01']})
df['B'] = pd.to_datetime(df['B'])

# Using Keyword Arguments
result = df.asof(where=pd.Timestamp('2020-02-15'))

Notes: This approach clarifies the code’s intent, making it easier to read and maintain. However, you must know the exact name of each argument, which might involve consulting the documentation.

Common Caveats and Tips

Understanding how the asof() method operates and its parameters is crucial to avoiding this error. Here are a few tips:

  • Always refer to the Pandas documentation for the latest and most accurate information on function arguments and behaviors.
  • Ensure compatibility between your Pandas version and your code; some arguments or behaviors might have changed.
  • Testing your code with a small subset of data first can help identify errors early in the development process.

In summary, the TypeError: NDFrame.asof() got multiple values for argument ‘where’ issue is commonly due to the duplication of the where argument. By carefully managing argument passing and making use of keyword arguments, you can avoid this error and ensure your time-series data analysis proceeds smoothly.