Questions tagged [performance-tuning]

Questions on optimizing Mathematica code for higher performance. This may mean faster execution, lower memory usage or both. Not to be confused with mathematical optimization.

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185
votes
3answers
42k views

Alternatives to procedural loops and iterating over lists in Mathematica

While there are some cases where a For loop might be reasonable, it's a general mantra – one I subscribe to myself – that "if you are using a ...
168
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3answers
15k views

Performance tuning in Mathematica?

What performance tuning tricks do you use to make a Mathematica application faster? MATLAB has an amazing profiler, but from what I can tell, Mathematica has no similar functionality.
116
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1answer
7k views

File-backed lists/variables for handling large data

Background Currently I am working with some large data (most of it generated by Mathematica itself). I usually find it a hassle to do this. For example, I just exported a large amount of data to ...
114
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a Mathematica packed array?

A simple sounding question with a few sub questions: What is the difference between unpacked vs packed array? Are packed arrays more space efficent, how much so? Are packed arrays more time ...
114
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1answer
2k views

Why are numeric division and subtraction not handled better in Mathematica?

There is something that has been troubling me for a while. At least through version 10.0 the performance of a / b and a - b is ...
95
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4answers
3k views

What best practices or performance considerations are there for choosing between Cases, Position, Pick and Select?

Cases, Select,Pick and Position each have different ...
90
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2answers
6k views

Profiling from Mathematica

I've always wished I could do some profiling like you get in Wolfram Workbench, but directly from Mathematica, without using or having Workbench. If it is possible, how can I do it?
88
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2answers
7k views

Shaving the last 50 ms off NMinimize

The epilogue: A paper where the below answer is used was published. The answer below is cited among the references:) The background: I have to fit an objective function for ~10 000 datasets in near ...
86
votes
9answers
17k views

How to make an inkblot?

How to effectively create a polygon that looks like a realistic inkblot? So far, I could come up with this (borrowing from Ed Pegg Jr.'s Rorschach demonstration): ...
74
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2answers
4k views

Internal`Bag inside Compile

Since Internal`Bag, Internal`StuffBag and Internal`BagPart can be compiled down, it is a ...
72
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6answers
14k views

How can this confetti code be improved to include shadows and gravity?

Here's some confetti: ...
67
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this the most effective and efficient programming style for prototyping (a ray tracer) in Mathematica?

I am trying out Mathematica as a prototyping tool. As an initial exercise I have put together a brute force ray tracer, with a view to using Mathematica's built in probability distribution functions ...
65
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8answers
9k views

How to efficiently find positions of duplicates?

Is there an efficient way to find the positions of the duplicates in a list? I would like the positions grouped according to duplicated elements. For instance, given ...
63
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4answers
4k views

Speeding up this fractal-generating code

I used the code below (which is a sample from this gist containing more similar code) in my answer to my own question about Mandelbrot-like sets for functions other than the simple quadratic on Math....
63
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2answers
11k views

How can I use Mathematica's graph functions to cheat at Boggle?

Boggle is a word game played with 16 dice and a 4x4 tray. This question is inspired by a Stack Overflow question about Boggle that I decided to solve using Mathematica. In addition to Mathematica, I ...
57
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1answer
987 views

New Compiler Technology in V12

I am wondering whether the speed of compilation for the new compiler can be improved. Here are the results from my test. Consider the following function for generating a random draw from a gamma ...
53
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3answers
2k views

Are there guidelines for avoiding the unpacking of a packed array?

Packed arrays are very useful because they save memory and generally allow speedier and more efficient calculation times. If a list of data currently stored as a packed array is unpacked, it can slow ...
52
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2answers
2k views

A geometric multigrid solver for Mathematica?

Cross posted to community.wolfram.com Mathematica ships a variety of linear solvers through the interface LinearSolve[A, b, Method -> method] the most ...
52
votes
1answer
3k views

Adaptive sampling for slow to compute functions in 2D

EDIT: Although I have posted an answer based on my current progress, this in incomplete. Please see the "open issues" section in the answer. Most plotting functions in Mathematica adjust the ...
49
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4answers
5k views

Benchmarking Mathematica performance on the Raspberry Pi

It is not surprising that Mathematica on the Raspberry Pi is slow and clunky. In Stephen Wolfram's words, the command line is "quite zippy" but the notebook interface is "a trifle sluggish by modern ...
48
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1answer
4k views

Why won't Parallelize speed up my code?

What reasons are there that can cause parallelized Mathematica code not to run with full performance?
47
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3answers
1k views

Why is the new PositionIndex horribly slow?

This issue has largely been mitigated in 10.0.1. New timings for the final test below are: ...
46
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1answer
2k views

Transferring a large amount of data in parallel calculations

Bug fixed in version 11.1 Functions like MemberQ, FreeQ, etc. no longer unpack. Yay! This question is inspired by one of @...
45
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2answers
4k views

Performance tuning for game solving (peg solitaire | senku)

There's a game I saw at a friend's yesterday, that I often see at people's homes, but never for enough time to think on it too hard. It's called peg solitaire (thanks @R.M). So I came home and I ...
44
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5answers
4k views

Is it possible to speed up ContourPlot on multi-core machines?

It is not very difficult to face a function for which ContourPlot works too slow. And it seems natural that this function can be parallelized well. Anyway, naive <...
44
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2answers
5k views

Is there any algorithm that runs faster in Mathematica than in C or Fortran?

I'm just curious. My friend just told me that Mathematica is mostly for symbolic calculation and not efficient for Numerical computations. He told me that's the reason most of the people don't use ...
43
votes
4answers
8k views

Fastest way to calculate matrix of pairwise distances

It is a very common problem that given a distance function $d(p_1,p_2)$ and a set of points pts, we need to construct a matrix ...
43
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9answers
3k views

What would you ask Mathematica to do on a big system?

Our hardware supplier has given us the opportunity to test Mathematica on a big Windows system. The specs will be 1 to 4 TB of working memory and 12 sockets with 18 cores each. I got 1 full week of ...
43
votes
4answers
2k views

Parallelize evaluation of function with memoization

I have a complicated function that I need multiple times, so I want to memoize it and have the first evaluation done in parallel. Unlike in my example below it's not a continuous function, so ...
43
votes
2answers
2k views

Mma 10: Half the parallel power (Macs)?

Here is a comparison of the parallel kernels launched under Mathematica under v9 and v10, on the same identical current 2014 R2-D2 Mac Pro ... [ Update: Valerio has commented that the same issue ...
43
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0answers
2k views

Fast Spherical Harmonics radiative transfer

This is a rather specific question and I apologize for spamming you with some lengthy code. But it could be interesting for some reader and maybe you can help out, so please bear with me. I am using ...
41
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10answers
2k views

Happy 2K prime question

This being the Q number 2K in the site, and this being the day we got the confirmation of mathematica.se graduating soon, I think a celebration question is in order. So... What is the fastest way to ...
41
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5answers
19k views

What is the most efficient way to add rows and columns to a matrix?

Say I have a matrix m and a vector v. ...
40
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5answers
17k views

Finding Local Minima / Maxima in Noisy Data

I'm trying to find local minima / maxima in noisy data, consisting of data values taken at certain time intervals. Ideally, the function should take a pair of lists (one containing time values and one ...
40
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I improve the speed of eigenvalue decompositions for large matrices?

I often need to compute the eigenvalues of large matrices, and I invariably resort to MATLAB for these, simply because it is much faster. I'd like to change that, so that I can work entirely inside my ...
39
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5answers
6k views

Efficiently generating n-D Gaussian random fields

I am interested in an efficient code to generate an $n$-D Gaussian random field (sometimes called processes in other fields of research), which has applications in cosmology. Attempt I wrote the ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

Smooth Peter de Jong attractor

Today I was playing with Peter de Jong attractor. At the bottom of the page I've linked there are beautiful examples like: My attempts are not so great: It is around 10^5 points. For more than 5*10^...
39
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1answer
2k views

How to work with Experimental`NumericalFunction?

This question is intimately connected with previous one: "How to create internally optimized expression for computing with high WorkingPrecision?" Oleksandr R. correctly states in the comment: A ...
37
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is StringExpression faster than RegularExpression?

Edit: as noted by Albert Retey the performance difference is only seen when sub expression extraction is performed. If this test is used below the timings are similar: ...
36
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2answers
6k views

Difference between AbsoluteTiming and Timing

I need to evaluate the efficiency of my code. Therefore I would like to evaluate the time the code need for some calculations. Mathematica gives me two possibilities for this kind of evaluation: <...
36
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a Trie be implemented efficiently?

What is the most space and time efficient way to implement a Trie in Mathematica? Will it be practically faster than what is natively available in appropriate cases?
36
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0answers
887 views

Performance problems in new Sequence functions

The new-in-10.1 Sequence* family of functions should provide newly optimized methods for handling sequence problems. Happily in some cases they do! For example ...
35
votes
3answers
1k views

DeleteDuplicatesBy is not performing as I'd hoped. Am I missing something?

Déjà vu: a new-in-v10 function should provide a better solution to an old problem, but my enthusiasm is curbed when I run timings. This time the function is ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

How to flush machine underflows to zero and prevent conversion to arbitrary precision?

I'm working on some pretty intense computation in Mathematica; when my code started running slowly, I tracked the source of the problem to Exp[]. I need to ...
35
votes
1answer
526 views

Exporting extremely large images; arrays generated via TensorProduct use 5 times as much RAM as expected?

I am generating plots of the roots of certain classes of polynomials, in the spirit of the multicolored visuals on the Wiki page on algebraic numbers. I've thus far been able to make some extremely ...
35
votes
1answer
556 views

Why is multidimensional Reverse slow?

Bug introduced in 6.0 or earlier and persisting through 11.1.1 or later I have found that multidimensional Reverse is ~10 times slower than exact ...
35
votes
1answer
919 views

Searching for still lifes in Conway's Game of Life

I'm trying to search for still lifes in Conway's Game of Life. An object in Conway's Game of Life can be represented by an array of booleans, say, Array[b, {w, h}]....
34
votes
1answer
1k views

CPU timing for matrix rank calculation difference between 10.3 and 10.4 and 11.0

I run a small rank CPU test when new Mathematica version comes out. I noticed when version 10.1 came out that Mathematica rank calculation suddenly became extremely fast on a matrix when the size ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

xkcdConvert routines perform slower in Mathematica 9

I am experiencing some rather large performance decreases in Mathematica version 9.0 using the xkcd-styled plotting routines. I had used the xkcdConvert code ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

How to read data file quickly?

I have a tab separated value file with 10 million rows each of which has three tab separated values. The first value is a string, the second an integer, and the third another string. How to read ...

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