[Numpy-discussion] Numpy performance vs Matlab.

Xavier Gnata xavier.gnata@gmail....
Wed Jan 7 12:29:41 CST 2009


Well it is the best pitch for numpy versus matlab I have read so far :)
(and I 100% agree)

Xavier
> On 1/7/2009 4:16 PM, David Cournapeau wrote:
>
>   
>> I think on recent versions of matlab, there is nothing you can do
>> without modifying the code: matlab has some JIT compilation for loops,
>> which is supposed to speed up those cases - at least, that's what is
>> claimed by matlab. 
>>     
>
> Yes it does. After using both for more than 10 years, my impression is this:
>
> - Matlab slicing creates new arrays. NumPy slicing creates views. NumPy 
> is faster and more memory efficient.
>
> - Matlab JIT compiles loops. NumPy does not. Matlab is faster for stupid 
> programmers that don't know how use slices. But neither Matlab nor 
> Python/NumPy is meant to be used like Java.
>
> - Python has psyco. It is about as good as Matlab's JIT. But psyco has 
> no knowledge of NumPy ndarrays.
>
> - Using Cython is easier than writing Matlab MEX files.
>
> - Python has better support for data structures, better built-in 
> structures (tuple, lists, dics, sets), and general purpose libraries. 
> Matlab has extensive numerical toolboxes that you can buy.
>
> - Matlab pass function arguments by value (albeit COW optimized). Python 
> pass references. This makes NumPy more efficient if you need to pass 
> large arrays or array slices.
>
> - Matlab tends to fragment the heap (hence the pack command). 
> Python/NumPy does not. This makes long-running processes notoriously 
> unstable on Matlab.
>
> - Matlab has some numerical libraries that are better.
>
> - I like the Matlab command prompt and IDE better. But its not enough to 
> make me want to use it.
>
> - Python is a proper programming language. Matlab is a numerical 
> scripting language - good for small scripts but not complex software 
> systems.
>
>
> Sturla Molden
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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