www.digitalmars.com         C & C++   DMDScript  

digitalmars.D - D performance guideline (request)

reply bobef <bobef abv-nospam.bg> writes:
Hi,

I would like to request a guideline how to squeeze every last nanosecond out of
D. I am writing this scripting language - FlowerScript, and I really need to
take every spare bit... But the problem is... I am a noob. D performs really
well, of course, but lame people like me could make even D slow :) I know here
are a lot of people that are very good programmers with broad knowledge how
things work and a lot of experiene, so I would like to ask you to share your
experience - what to do when every tick matters. For example one could use
pointers for indexing arrays, to bypass the bounds checking. Yes, it is not
that pretty but gives a big boost. I am trying to experiment with things, but
sometimes it is really strange. For example I have few ifs. I rearrange them a
bit. Sometimes I move one if inside other and it becomes slower, sometimes I
simply add curly braces and it becomes faster. Or I wrap a block of code in a
try {} and it becomes faster. Why is that? If I wrap every line of code in try,
will I make it fly ? :D

Thanks,
bobef
Apr 12 2008
next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from bobef (bobef abv-nospam.bg)'s article
 Hi,
 I would like to request a guideline how to squeeze every last nanosecond out
of D. I am writing this

noob. D performs really well, of course, but lame people like me could make even D slow :) I know here are a lot of people that are very good programmers with broad knowledge how things work and a lot of experiene, so I would like to ask you to share your experience - what to do when every tick matters. For example one could use pointers for indexing arrays, to bypass the bounds checking. Yes, it is not that pretty but gives a big boost. I am trying to experiment with things, but sometimes it is really strange. For example I have few ifs. I rearrange them a bit. Sometimes I move one if inside other and it becomes slower, sometimes I simply add curly braces and it becomes faster. Or I wrap a block of code in a try {} and it becomes faster. Why is that? If I wrap every line of code in try, will I make it fly ? :D The code generator used by DMD is really weird. Similar things cropped up during performance tests of the Tango XML parser--sometimes just rearranging a set of declarations would have a considerable effect on performance. I think a lot of it had to to with alignment and such. There's generally no point in this level of optimization, because each compiler will react differently to the changes. GDC, for example, tended to react in an opposite manner of DMD, though it was more consistent overall. As for performance tuning itself--don't worry about pointers vs. indexing. Using the -release flag will turn off bounds checking anyway. Typically, the most notable effect you'll see is from the overarching algorithms you use. However, if you're really counting cycles then you can do things like minimize branches by placing the condition you expect to be true most often inside an "if" statement. ie. void func() { if( x ) { // A return; } // B } With the above, A will be executed without any jumps, while execution will have to jump to B to continue. If you expect x to almost always be true and the performance of func() is crucial, consider writing it like the above instead of: void func() { if( !x ) { // B return; } // A } However, in general I suggest favoring readability over a nanosecond or two of performance gain. There are other suggestions as well, but in general the 80-20 rule dictates that such things should really only occur once your app is done and working, and then be tuned from profiler results. Sean
Apr 12 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply janderson <askme me.com> writes:
bobef wrote:
 Hi,
 
 I would like to request a guideline how to squeeze every last nanosecond out
of D. I am writing this scripting language - FlowerScript, and I really need to
take every spare bit... But the problem is... I am a noob. D performs really
well, of course, but lame people like me could make even D slow :) I know here
are a lot of people that are very good programmers with broad knowledge how
things work and a lot of experiene, so I would like to ask you to share your
experience - what to do when every tick matters. For example one could use
pointers for indexing arrays, to bypass the bounds checking. Yes, it is not
that pretty but gives a big boost. I am trying to experiment with things, but
sometimes it is really strange. For example I have few ifs. I rearrange them a
bit. Sometimes I move one if inside other and it becomes slower, sometimes I
simply add curly braces and it becomes faster. Or I wrap a block of code in a
try {} and it becomes faster. Why is that? If I wrap every

 
 Thanks,
 bobef

I imagine you understand this however I'll point it out anyway. The best optimizations programmers in the world for any given language know that only a small amount of the code actually matters to performance. They always profile to see where that is. If they tried to optimize the entire program they would be spending less time on the parts that really matter. Bound checking can be turned off at release time so I wouldn't worry about that. So having said that, beware of using functions like getchar() and read blocks of data at a time. Think about high level optimizations first, these will normally give you the biggest bang. For instance the fastest code you can run is the code that is never run. Try to minimize memory allocation by allocating in bigger blocks. For instance with arrays you can do this to reserve space. array.length = 100 array.length = 0 array now has 100 spaces reserved Don't manually flush the GC until you have idle time. Its a very slow function. When you do find a function that really is causing trouble here are a few tips: 1) Reduce branching. Branching is bad for these reasons: - It can cause a cache miss - The CPU prefetcher and program optimizer will stall 2) Avoid using linked lists. If you do absolutely need one allocate each node from an array. 99% of the time you will be spending more time traversing the array then insertion and deletion. Inserting/deleting into an array can be faster then a linked list if its at the end (and the memory is already reserved). The exception is generally when the link list is a memory allocator and that's its only responsibility. 3) Use foreach instead of for. The compiler can sometimes optimize these better. 4) Try to do more stuff at compile time using templates and compile time functions however don't fall victim to making the programs memory footprint so big it actually runs slower. 5) In your innermost loops look at the generated asm code to figure out what it is doing (last resort). 6) Avoid using virtual functions in your innermost loops if they cause a problem. Note that if the virtual function body contains more then 10 instructions you *may* be wasting your time removing the virtual. The amount of time processing those 10 instructions is can be much larger then the time cost of the virtual function. Although like branching they can cause a stall. The reasons - Compiler can't inline virtual's - Cachemiss is almost certain because the Vtable is located far away from the - The CPU prefetcher and program optimizer will stall - Extra pointer lookups. 7) Try to push things around as blocks of memory rather then individual pieces. 8) Profile, Profile, Profile and let use know your results. I hope that was helpful. -Joel
Apr 12 2008
parent janderson <askme me.com> writes:
Here's another one.  Plug in nedmalloc.  There's a D port somewhere...

http://www.nedprod.com/programs/portable/nedmalloc/index.html
Apr 12 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent "Unknown W. Brackets" <unknown simplemachines.org> writes:
There's plenty to be said, and surely that will be said.  When it comes 
to performance, I'm more of a server-oriented guy and I worry more about 
concurrency and performance per request... I'm sure you'll get more 
relevant help from others here.

I just want to suggest that, when checking performance, you make sure 
you're dealing with reality.  A few things that can help with that:

1. Do any file io before your benching... for example, load a file 
entirely into memory, then bench/profile parsing it, executing it, etc.

2. When benchmarking, compile with -O -inline -release.  You don't 
really care if bounds checking, lack of inlining, etc. are slowing you 
down.  You care about reality.

3. In general, it's hard to get anywhere without concentrating on a 
specific area of code.  Find something that is slow (through profiling) 
and fix it.  Worry about the rest later.

4. If you destroy maintainability by optimization, you'll just pay 
later.  Consider how heavy the price is before you make such a move.

-[Unknown]


bobef wrote:
 Hi,
 
 I would like to request a guideline how to squeeze every last nanosecond out
of D. I am writing this scripting language - FlowerScript, and I really need to
take every spare bit... But the problem is... I am a noob. D performs really
well, of course, but lame people like me could make even D slow :) I know here
are a lot of people that are very good programmers with broad knowledge how
things work and a lot of experiene, so I would like to ask you to share your
experience - what to do when every tick matters. For example one could use
pointers for indexing arrays, to bypass the bounds checking. Yes, it is not
that pretty but gives a big boost. I am trying to experiment with things, but
sometimes it is really strange. For example I have few ifs. I rearrange them a
bit. Sometimes I move one if inside other and it becomes slower, sometimes I
simply add curly braces and it becomes faster. Or I wrap a block of code in a
try {} and it becomes faster. Why is that? If I wrap every

 
 Thanks,
 bobef

Apr 12 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
I can only think of a few, sadly.

Use ~ as little as possible.
Try to determine the whole size beforehand, _then_ allocate an array, _then_
copy into it. Remember: Allocations are slow. Shit slow.

If you're creating multithreaded code that needs synchronized access, try to
see if you can use TLS instead of synchronization.

Use the final keyword :)

Try both GDC and DMD. There might be significant performance differences.

 --downs
Apr 12 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
bobef wrote:
 I would like to request a guideline how to squeeze every last nanosecond out
of D.

The first thing I'd suggest is get very comfortable with D's built-in profiler. It'll be invaluable in helping focus your energies on exactly where it matters.
Apr 12 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
bobef wrote:
 Hi,
 
 [...]
 
 Thanks,
 bobef

I'm no expert but (as others have pointed out): - Algorithmic efficiency is more important than saving cycles. - Memory/cache efficiency is more important than saving cycles - Try using memory-efficient data structures like Judy ( http://judy.sourceforge.net/ ). - Compile with both DMD and GDC - Reduce heap allocations as much as possible. For example, when possible, use scope for your classes (since this means they will be allocated on the stack). So, basically, what everyone else said.
Apr 12 2008
parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Robert Fraser wrote:
 - Try using memory-efficient data structures like Judy (
   http://judy.sourceforge.net/ ).

Or maybe not: http://www.nothings.org/computer/judy/
Apr 12 2008
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Robert Fraser wrote:
 Robert Fraser wrote:
 
 - Try using memory-efficient data structures like Judy (
   http://judy.sourceforge.net/ ).

Or maybe not: http://www.nothings.org/computer/judy/

Well, the guy certainly saw a lot of effort trying to prove that Judy isn't cool. I'm not impressed. Especially the consistent performance of Judy_seq and Judy_64 was quite amazing. If one wants predictable and scalable performance, that additionally is excellent, then that is my choice. I assume that, if one knows the data is in order, then Judy is good, and for unordered data (i.e. that which really needs hashing) a hash is better. (Gee, surprise.) So, it shows two things: Firstly, if you have a choice, then benchmark, benchmark, and benchmark. Don't just read ads or believe the buzz on the street. Second, every job has its tool. IIUC, sparse arrays would be a dream application for Judy, especially if they can be filled in order. Or partial order.
Apr 13 2008
parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Robert Fraser wrote:
 Robert Fraser wrote:

 - Try using memory-efficient data structures like Judy (
   http://judy.sourceforge.net/ ).

Or maybe not: http://www.nothings.org/computer/judy/

Well, the guy certainly saw a lot of effort trying to prove that Judy isn't cool. I'm not impressed. Especially the consistent performance of Judy_seq and Judy_64 was quite amazing. If one wants predictable and scalable performance, that additionally is excellent, then that is my choice. I assume that, if one knows the data is in order, then Judy is good, and for unordered data (i.e. that which really needs hashing) a hash is better. (Gee, surprise.) So, it shows two things: Firstly, if you have a choice, then benchmark, benchmark, and benchmark. Don't just read ads or believe the buzz on the street. Second, every job has its tool. IIUC, sparse arrays would be a dream application for Judy, especially if they can be filled in order. Or partial order.

While I often do sequential inserts into an associative array, I rarely do sequential reads (Unless I'm enumerating through all the values). So, I guess every structure has its place, and Judy is much more memory-efficient. But that benchmark tells me "in common usage (where data is unordered), Judy is less efficient than a hash table".
Apr 13 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Craig Black" <craigblack2 cox.net> writes:
In case it wasn't already mentioned, use Tango instead of Phobos.  It has a 
faster GC.

-Craig 
Apr 12 2008
next sibling parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Craig Black wrote:
 In case it wasn't already mentioned, use Tango instead of Phobos.  It
 has a faster GC.
 
 -Craig

If your supposedly speed-efficient program is GC-bound, you have bigger problems than Tango or Phobos. :p --just downs' 5
Apr 13 2008
parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
downs wrote:
 Craig Black wrote:
 
 In case it wasn't already mentioned, use Tango instead of Phobos.
 It has a faster GC.

If your supposedly speed-efficient program is GC-bound, you have bigger problems than Tango or Phobos. :p

Seriously, there's a sharp and definitive point to that. From what I hear (since I still haven't tested Tango, my appologies to the Tango Team), Tango is an excellent library, and faster than Phobos in most things. But it really is true: if your program uses new (and 'abandon') enough for the GC to become a major decider on library choice -- then you really should halt all work and step back. You literally have something else to worry about than the choice between libraries. That choice can bring you (what? My guess is) maybe a 10-20% speedup in the *GC* things, which probably is only 2-5% of total execution time (since your program probably does a lot more than just wait for the GC to finish)! So, staying with whatever was your library (Tango or Phobos), and spending the time on figuring out why your program thinks it's got a "frequent flyer plan" with the GC, would be time much better spent. Speedups of 2x to 10x should not be impossible *in such a* situation. (For those who've suffered the contemporary school system, that's like 100% to 900% better.)
Apr 13 2008
prev sibling parent Bruno Medeiros <brunodomedeiros+spam com.gmail> writes:
Craig Black wrote:
 In case it wasn't already mentioned, use Tango instead of Phobos.  It 
 has a faster GC.
 
 -Craig

If you really need the speed boost (I also say: profile first), then consider using manual memory management. It may be more difficult, but no pain, no gain. -- Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Apr 25 2008