[Numpy-discussion] in place random generation

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Wed Mar 14 22:24:07 CDT 2007

On 3/14/07, Daniel Mahler <dmahler@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/12/07, Travis Oliphant <oliphant@ee.byu.edu> wrote:
> > I'm not convinced that the broadcasting is causing the slow-downs.
> > Currently, the code has two path-ways.  One gets called when the inputs
> > are scalars which is equivalent to the old code and the second gets
> > called when broadcasting is desired.  Their should be only a very small
> > speed hit because of the check.   So, it should be possible to do both
> > without great differences in speed.
> >
> > Perhaps the speed hit is due to something else (like creating 0-d arrays
> > from scalars, or something similar).    So, in other words, I think the
> > problem is fixable, but we need someone who can track down where the
> > slowness is coming from.
> >
> > -Travis
> The problem is very easy to reproduce.
> What would it take to do the tracking?
> I'd like to see this fixed.
> Presumably the python profiler is no use since the problem is inside C
> code,
> which is not my expertise.

Well, it is not creation of scalars per se that is slow.

In [6]: def normal1() :
   ...:     a = normal(0,1,1000)
   ...:     for i in xrange(1000) :
   ...:         b = a[i]

In [7]: def normal2() :
   ...:     for i in xrange(1000) :
   ...:         b = normal(0,1)

In [18]: t1=Timer("normal1()","from __main__ import normal1")

In [19]: t2=Timer("normal2()","from __main__ import normal2")

In [22]: t1.timeit(100)
Out[22]: 0.086430072784423828

In [23]: t2.timeit(100)
Out[23]: 4.276231050491333

Looks to me like the call overhead is dominate and that the fast path is not
nearly as fast as it could be.  Either it takes a long time to decide which
path to take or something is getting reinitialized that needn't. Could be
that normals should be special cased but I can't tell till I look at the

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