[Numpy-discussion] Help speeding up element-wise operations for video processing

Brendan Simons spam4bsimons@yahoo...
Wed Sep 17 21:54:12 CDT 2008

Thanks for the cogent response Fransesc.  It's nice to know when  
you're up against a "Really Hard Problem", rather than just missing  
something obvious.  I've started reading Ulrich Drepper report, and it  
looks like a great place to start.


On 17-Sep-08, at 5:34 AM, Francesc Alted wrote:

> A Wednesday 17 September 2008, Brendan Simons escrigué:
> [clip]
>> I would love a c-types code snippet.  I'm not very handy in c.  Since
>> I gather numpy is row-major, I thought I up and down crops very
>> quickly by moving the start and end pointers of the array.  For
>> cropping left and right, is there a fast c command for "copy while
>> skipping every nth hundred bytes"?
> There is no such efficient "copy while skipping every nth hundred  
> bytes"
> thing for C or for any other language.  You are facing here a
> fundamental problem in the design of modern processor architectures,
> namely, the (large) memory latency.  That means that when accessing
> memory in discontiguous patterns like the one you indicated, that will
> keep the processor waiting for the data most of the time.  There are
> ways to give hints to compilers in order to perform a better
> pre-fetching of interesting data, but this is a rather complex  
> process,
> and the improvements can be meager in most of cases.
> In brief, if you don't have much time to spend of this, my advice is  
> to
> use just regular assignment or memcpy (whatever is more comfortable  
> for
> your situation), because you won't be able to get more performance  
> than
> what these will offer.
> However, if you have more time and want to look for ways on how to
> scratch more performance on different memory access patterns, it is
> always a wise thing to have a look at the excellent "What Every
> Programmer Should Know About Memory" report:
> htt://people.redhat.com/drepper/cpumemory.pdf
> [Incidentally, this is possible one of the best reports available on  
> the
> subject of memory access on nowadays architectures (a critical thing
> for achieving maximum performance), and besides it is available for
> free, so there is no excuse to not have look at it ;-)]
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Francesc Alted
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