Python – Interrupt function execution from another function in Python


I have a function a doing some tasks and another function b being a callback to some events. Whenever an event happens, function b is called and I would like to make it able to interrupt the execution of function a. Both functions are declared inside the same class.

Function a is not supposed to call function b. Function b is totally independent, it is a callback to an external event like "user face detected" coming from ROS: robot operating system.

what I need is basically something like Ctrl+C that can be called from within Python and which only aborts a targeted function and not the whole program.

Can this be done in Python?

Best Solution

I would do the following:

  • define a custom exception
  • call the callback function within an appropriate try/catch block
  • if the callback function decides to break the execution, it will raise exception and the caller will catch it and handle it as needed.

Here's some pseudo-code:

class InterruptExecution (Exception):

def function_a():
    while some_condition_is_true():
        if callback_time():
            except InterruptExecution:

def function_b():
    if interruption_needed():
        raise (InterruptExecution('Stop the damn thing'))