[SciPy-Dev] Enhancements to scipy.spatial.cKDTree

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers@googlemail....
Sun Jul 15 07:26:20 CDT 2012

On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 1:29 AM, Sturla Molden <sturla@molden.no> wrote:

>  Den 15.07.2012 00:36, skrev Sturla Molden:
> Thanks. On Windows 64, query_pair returns bad results depending on the
> size of the tree. I don't know why but Patrick's code hade the same problem.
> Which brings me to the other issue I'd like to discuss...
> In its current state, Patrick's enhancement to cKDTree (IMHO) is close to
> unmaintainable. It might be 'fast', but it is not estetically nice looking
> code (no pun intended),  about 2500 lines of low-level C masquerading as
> Cython, very difficult to read and follow with respect to logic, it was
> full of bugs (and might still be), and still don't pass all the tests on my
> computer (even though I have been debugging it quite extensively).
> Who is going to maintain it? Patrick? Ralph? Anne? (I am not
> volunteering...)

Good question. For me, ``cython_skills * available_time`` is too small to
volunteer for that.

> On the other hand, Anne's KDTree.py is an example of very beautiful Python
> code, and very easy to read and understand. KDTree is also robust and
> rather bug-free, after having been tested for quite a long time, and more
> or less feature-complete for a KDTree. But it is a bit slow, courtesy to
> Python...
> How fast do we need it to be?
> I think it might be better to just gently 'Cythonize' out the worst
> bottlenecks in KDTree.py, but leave the rest as it is. It might not be
> equally fast as Patrick's rewrite of cKDTree enhancement, but will be 100
> times easier to maintain, and probably "fast enough" for most usecases.
> cKDTree was intended as a very fast kd-tree for nearest-neighbor queries.
> It was never intended as general-purpose kd-tree like, well, KDTree.
> Currently in SciPy master it is very "lean and mean" for its particular
> purpose. (It could still use some minor updating, such as 64-bit support.)

No matter what we do with cKDTree, KDTree should not be removed.
Readability alone is enough reason to keep it.


> I think at least this should be discussed before this major rewrite is
> pulled into SciPy master. I am not saying Patrick's rewrite is bad anbs
> should not be pulled into SciPy. But I don't think we should drop code into
> SciPy if it will never be properly maintained. It must be maintainable for
> years ahead.
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