[Numpy-discussion] Prime size FFT: bluestein transform vs general chirp/z transform ?

David Cournapeau cournape at gmail.com
Wed Jan 19 09:36:52 EST 2011

On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 2:22 PM, Ralf Gommers
<ralf.gommers at googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 2:46 PM, David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I finally took the time to clean up my code to speed up prime-size FFT
>> (which use a O(N^2) algo in both numpy and scipy). The code is there:
>> https://github.com/cournape/numpy/tree/bluestein (most of the code is
>> tests, because numpy.fft had almost none).
>> Bottom line: it is used only for prime numbers, and is faster than the
>> current code for complex transforms > 500. Because of python +
>> inherent bluestein overhead, this is mostly useful for "long" fft
>> (where the speed up is significant - already 100x speed up for prime
>> size ~ 50000).
> Very nice, works like a charm for me!
>> Several comments:
>>  - the overhead is pretty significant (on my machine, bluestein
>> transfrom is slower for prime size < 500)
>>  - it could be used as such for real transforms, but the overhead
>> would be even more significant (there is no bluestein transform for
>> real transforms, so one needs to re-rexpress real transforms in term
>> of complex ones, multiplying the overhead by 2x). There are several
>> alternatives to make things faster (Rader-like transform, as used by
>> fftw), but I think this would be quite hard to do in python without
>> significant slowdown, because the code cannot be vectorized.
>>  - one could also decide to provide a chirp-z transform, of which
>> Bluestein transform is a special case. Maybe this is more adapted to
>> scipy ?
> This is just terminology, but according to Wikipedia the Bluestein transform
> is the chirp-z transform, which is a special case of the z-transform. Is
> that what you meant?

Right, I meant z-transform.

> I'm guessing you are talking about code that allows you to use the Bluestein
> algorithm also for non-prime sizes where it makes sense, for example to
> speed up the second case of this:
> In [24]: x = np.random.random(5879)  # a large prime

This is for the real transform case, where the reindexing step
requires to find a generator of Z/nZ. As for dealing with non prime
sizes, I am not sure what to do: there is the speed issue, but the
precision issue as well. I am currently doing some more thorough tests
across various sizes to make sure bluestein transforms do not cause
loss of precisions



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