[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: speed of n_elements

> * I can't repeat your experience on Sun or Linux.  On both those
>   machines n_elements(data.flag) is much slower than n_elements(data),
>   at least in a loop.

Thank you for the test, Craig.  I repeated it and n_elements(data) was way
faster. But I was certain that I saw what i saw, so I reconstructed the
entire data system in the same way it was in my program. DATA in my program
is itself passed as a field of State structure inside a widget tree. Try the
following code:
pro test, a

for i=0, 100 do temp = n_elements(a.data)
print, systime(1)-start

for i=0, 100 do temp = n_elements(a.data.flag)
print, systime(1)-start

************* ; Now, the outputs:
IDL> a=fltarr(1000)
IDL> b={a:a, b:a, c:a, d:a, flag:0L, name:'', other:0.0}
IDL> c=replicate(b, 500)
% Compiled module: TEST.
IDL> k={a:0L, data:c}
IDL> test,k

> * I've always found that putting large data arrays into structures is
>   a big loser.  In my experience it's slow to create such structures
>   and slow to extract the fields later.

I agree it is not nearly as neat as pointers. I don't find it noticeably
slow, at least with my array sizes. However, there are things that are really
advantageous in placing arrays directly as structure fields. For instance, I
can shift all arrays in the array of structures in one line:

data.(k) = shift(data.(k), n_pts)

while with pointers this does not work. In my opinion, the only drawback in
using pointers and (built-in) objects is that they take away from you some of
the tremendous advantages that IDL has in handling arrays.


P.S. Not to mention the humiliating use of HEAP_GC after a crash of an app
full of pointers :-)