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Re: [Chicken-users] date comparison is very, very, very slow (srfi-19)

From: Alex Shinn
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] date comparison is very, very, very slow (srfi-19)
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 13:04:42 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2.50 (darwin)

Anthony Carrico <address@hidden> writes:

> I ran into an extreme slowdown with some code that uses dates. I thought
> this was a complexity issue with sorting, or something like that, but I
> noticed that it was mainly GC, and traced it to date<?.
> Date comparison is done on julian-days, which are cached in dates, so it
> is simplest to observe by running date->julian-day over
> some random dates.

Reasons in increasing order of relevance:

1) DATE->JULIAN-DAY is just in general an expensive
operation, you want to avoid it in tight loops

Hint: a custom comparator that compares dates field-by-field
might be faster for sorting.

2) Record accessors in Chicken (and all Scheme
implementations to my knowledge) are slow - they're not just
memory references, but full procedures, and so every
reference to every date field (all 8 of them) generates a
generic procedure call with stack checking and all.

Hint: if you need to access a lot of fields at once, use
MATCH, it's much faster:

  (match date
    (($ date nano sec min hour day mon year)

3) For some reason SRFI-19 uses the numbers egg - did you
look at the output of date->julian-day?  It's an exact
rational in the number of nanoseconds, and the date
conversion performs a *lot* of numerical computations.

Hint: use EXACT->INEXACT and the FP+, FP/, etc. floating
point operators for a huge speedup, e.g.

  (define (tm:julian-day nanosecond second minute hour day month year tzo)
    (fp+ (fp- (exact->inexact (tm:encode-julian-day-number day month year))
         (fp/ (fp+ (exact->inexact
                    (fx+ (fx+ (fx* hour SEC/HR)
                              (fx+ (fx* minute SEC/MIN) second))
                         (fxneg tzo)))
                   (fp/ (exact->inexact nanosecond) 1000000000.0))


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