Questions tagged [performance]

Questions about the execution speed and memory usage of algorithms, data structures, languages and libraries.

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67
votes
10answers
14k views

What are some good strategies for improving the serial performance of my code?

I work in computational science, and as a result, I spend a non-trivial amount of my time trying to increase the scientific throughput of many codes, as well as understanding the efficiency of these ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Can diagonal plus fixed symmetric linear systems be solved in quadratic time after precomputation?

Is there an $O(n^3+n^2 k)$ method to solve $k$ linear systems of the form $(D_i + A) x_i = b_i$ where $A$ is a fixed SPD matrix and $D_i$ are positive diagonal matrices? For example, if each $D_i$ is ...
47
votes
7answers
6k views

Is algorithmic analysis by flop-counting obsolete?

In my numerical analysis courses, I learned to analyze the efficiency of algorithms by counting the number of floating-point operations (flops) they require, relative to the size of the problem. For ...
39
votes
4answers
32k views

How does the MATLAB backslash operator solve $Ax=b$ for square matrices?

I was comparing a few of my codes to "stock" MATLAB codes. I am surprised at the results. I ran a sample code (Sparse Matrix) ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

What guidelines should I use when choosing a scalable linear solver?

There are many different linear solvers, some which work best for diagonally dominant matrices, some for symmetric, some for positive definite ones, some for banded matrices, etc... There are direct ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Whittaker-Shannon interpolation: Accuracy dies with speedup; can it be fixed?

With a truncated Whitaker-Shannon series (cardinal series) $$ f(t) = \sum_{j = 0}^{n-1} y_{j} \frac{\sin\left(\pi( \frac{t-t_0}{h} -j)\right)}{\pi\left(\frac{t-t_0}{h}-j\right)} $$ we can naively ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

How should I report profiling/timing information about my code?

I've seen a lot of publications in Computational Physics journals use different metrics for the performance of their code. Especially for GPGPU code, there seems to be a great variety of timing ...
27
votes
1answer
25k views

What is the preferred and efficient approach for interpolating multidimensional data?

What is the preferred and efficient approach for interpolating multidimensional data? Things I'm worried about: performance and memory for construction, single/batch evaluation handling dimensions ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

When should I use C++ expression templates in computational science, and when should I *not* use them?

Suppose that I'm working on a scientific code in C++. In a recent discussion with a colleague, it was argued that expression templates could be a really bad thing, potentially making software ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

To what extent is generic and meta-programming using C++ templates useful in computational science?

The C++ language provides generic programming and metaprogramming through templates. These techniques have found their way into many large-scale scientific computing packages (e.g., MPQC, LAMMPS, CGAL,...
7
votes
4answers
788 views

When analyzing a parallel algorithm, how do you take communication costs into account?

My question is related in spirit to "Is algorithmic analysis by flop counting obsolete?". Counting the number of computational operations in an algorithm is commonly used as a first-order model to ...
13
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the fastest way to compute all eigenvalues of a very big and sparse adjacency matrix in python?

I'm trying to figure out if there is a faster way to compute all the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a very big and sparse adjacency matrix than using scipy.sparse.linalg.eigsh As far as I know, this ...
11
votes
2answers
349 views

What is the underlying structure of scientific code performance?

Consider two computers with different hardware and software configurations. When running the exact same serial Navier-Stokes code on each platform it takes x and y time to execute one iteration for ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Nvidia K20X vs GeForce Titan for GPGPU acceleration

Im trying to understand the difference between these two graphics cards for academic computing, specifically for the DGEMM component. If we look at the raw statistics, both have the same GK110 chip, ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best way to multiply a diagonal matrix (in fortran)

What is the best way to compute: $$ Y = D X $$ where $D \in \mathbb{R}^{m\times m}$ is diagonal and $X \in \mathbb{C}^{m \times n}$ is general. I am mostly interested in these two cases: $m >> ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Effecient CFD programming techniques

I'm trying to make highly efficient CFD programming complex for solving combustion problems. I've finished writing core which realises mathematical model, and now I'm concerned about code performance. ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

What is the correct way of performing numerical experiments on desktops?

Suppose I want to set up an experiment to measure the performance of some numerical code on a desktop machine running Linux/Windows/MacOS. What kind of environment should I arrange in order to get ...