[Numpy-discussion] Memory issue with memory-mapped array assignment

Thomas Robitaille thomas.robitaille at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 05:56:52 EDT 2013

Hi everyone,

I've come across a memory issue when trying to assign data to slices
of a Numpy memory-mapped array. The short story is that if I create a
memory mapped array and try to add data to subsets of the array many
times in a loop, the memory usage of my code grows over time,
suggesting there is some kind of memory leak.

More specifically, if I run the following script:

import random
import numpy as np

image = np.memmap('image.np', mode='w+', dtype=np.float32, shape=(10000, 10000))

print("Before assignment")

for i in range(1000):

    x = random.uniform(1000, 9000)
    y = random.uniform(1000, 9000)
    imin = int(x) - 128
    imax = int(x) + 128
    jmin = int(y) - 128
    jmax = int(y) + 128
    data = np.random.random((256,256))
    image[imin:imax, jmin:jmax] = image[imin:imax, jmin:jmax] + data

    del x, y, imin, imax, jmin, jmax, data

the memory usage goes up to ~300Mb after 1000 iterations (and
proportionally more if I increase the number of iterations).

I've written up a more detailed overview of the issue on stackoverflow
(with memory profiling):


Does anyone have any idea what is going on, and how I can avoid this issue?


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