Experiences about Signal Processing with Numerical Python

Stan Pawlukiewicz stanp at mitre.org
Tue Mar 14 17:15:56 CET 2000

Johannes Nix wrote:
> Hi,
> I have looked a little bit into Python as an alternative to do
> research about signal processing algorithms. Currently nearly all
> members of my group use Matlab, and it is a bit hard to convince
> someone that another language could be more appropiate. My specific
> task involves developing quite large programs (the C equivalent would
> be more than 10000 lines), and the demand to work in a explorative and
> experimental way and make (perhaps as soon as possible) a real-time
> implementation (the kind of work I do was done before with dedicated
> DSP systems which are very time-consuming to program).
> Who has experiences with signal processing with Numerical Python,
> especially large or complicated algorithms?
> How does it compare to Matlab?

I've done some Cramer Rao bound calculations in numpy and found it
similar in a lot of ways to matlab, enough to make some blunders.  My
essential motivation is to be able to work at home when I need to.  I
was also interested in using an optimized blas library as my compute
engine.  Its kind of interesting that the mathworks released a lapack
based beta library.

I would say that the python and matlab interpreters are fairly similar
in the things that you need to to do get speed. The initial question I
had with python was to figure out if there was a "loop penalty", like in
matlab.  I would say that there is, based on my subjective experience. 
I'm not proficient at python and I have used matlab for ten years, so I
do have a bit more to learn about python to make a fair comparison.

> Is there anybody using Numerical Python for real-time data processing ?
> There are various alternatives for scientific graphics plotting,
> between them graphite, Dislin, ppgplot. The first two don't look very
> "ready" currently. Any hints ?
> --
> Johannes Nix

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