[Numpy-discussion] Comparing NumPy/IDL Performance

Keith Hughitt keith.hughitt at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 12:11:57 EDT 2011

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.

First off, I would like to say that I entirely agree with people's
suggestions about lack of objectiveness in the test design, and
the caveat about optimizing early. The main reason we put together the
Python version of the benchmark was as a quick "sanity check" to make sure
that there are no major show-stoppers before we began work on the library.
We also wanted to put together something to show other people who are firmly
in the IDL camp that this is a viable option.

We did in fact put together another short test-suite (test_testr.py &
time_testr.pro <https://github.com/sunpy/sunpy/tree/master/benchmarks>) which
consists of operations that would are frequently used by us, but it also is
testing a very small portion of the kinds of things our library will
eventually do.

That said, I made a few small changes to the original benchmark, based on
people's feedback, and put together a new plot.

The changes made include:

1. Using xrange instead of range
2. Using uniform filter instead of median filter
3. Fixed a typo for tests 2 & 3 which resulted in slower Python results

Again, note that some of the tests are testing non-numpy functionality.
Several of the results still stand out,  but overall the results are much
more reasonable than before.

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