# Interesting timing issue I noticed

Jonathan Shao jzshao1 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 04:24:01 CEST 2008

```I've written up a stripped down version of the code. I apologize for the bad
coding; I am in a bit of a hurry.

import random
import sys
import time

sizeX = 320
sizeY = 240
borderX = 20
borderY = 20

# generates a zero matrix
def generate_zero():
matrix = [[0 for y in range(sizeY)] for x in range(sizeX)]
return matrix
# fills zero matrix
def fill_matrix(in_mat):
mat = in_mat
for x in range(sizeX):
for y in range(sizeY):
mat[x][y] = random.randint(1, 100)
return mat
######################################################################
# COMPUTES ONLY A PART OF THE ARRAY
def back_diff_one(back_array, fore_array, box):
diff_array = generate_zero()

start = time.time()
for x in range(sizeX):
for y in range(borderY):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]
for y in range((sizeY - borderY), sizeY):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]
for y in range(borderY, (sizeY - borderY)):
for x in range(borderX):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]
for x in range((sizeX - borderX), sizeX):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]

# tracks object
if (len(box) != 0):
for x in range(box[0], box[2]):
for y in range(box[1], box[3]):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]
print "time one inside = " + str(time.time() - start)
return diff_array
######################################################################
# COMPUTES EVERY ELEMENT IN THE ARRAY
def back_diff_two(back_array, fore_array):
diff_array = generate_zero()
start = time.time()
for y in range(sizeY):
for x in range(sizeX):
diff_array[x][y] = back_array[x][y] - fore_array[x][y]
end = time.time()
print "time two inside = " + str(end - start)
return diff_array
######################################################################
# CODE TO TEST BOTH FUNCTIONS
back = fill_matrix(generate_zero())
fore = fill_matrix(generate_zero())
box = [20, 20, 268, 240]
start1 = time.time()
diff1 = back_diff_one(back, fore, box)
print "time one outside = " + str(time.time() - start1)
start2 = time.time()
diff2 = back_diff_two(back, fore)
print "time one outside = " + str(time.time() - start2)

Here are some results from several test runs:

time one inside = 0.0780000686646
time one outside = 0.125
time two inside = 0.0780000686646
time two outside = 0.141000032425
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0629999637604
time one outside = 0.125
time two inside = 0.0789999961853
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0620000362396
time one outside = 0.139999866486
time two inside = 0.0780000686646
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0780000686646
time one outside = 0.172000169754
time two inside = 0.0789999961853
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0780000686646
time one outside = 0.125
time two inside = 0.0780000686646
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0620000362396
time one outside = 0.155999898911
time two inside = 0.0780000686646
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.077999830246
time one outside = 0.125
time two inside = 0.077999830246
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0780000686646
time one outside = 0.171000003815
time two inside = 0.077999830246
time two outside = 0.125
>>> ================================ RESTART
================================
>>>
time one inside = 0.0629999637604
time one outside = 0.18799996376
time two inside = 0.0620000362396
time two outside = 0.125

Why is a large percentage of the time, the execution time for the
(ostensibly smaller) first loop is actually equal to or LARGER than the
second?

--
"Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically, to those who
hardly think about us in return."
~ T.H.White
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