Remi.b - 2 months ago 10

R Question

Consider this comparison:

`require(Rcpp)`

require(microbenchmark)

cppFunction('int cppFun (int x) {return x;}')

RFun = function(x) x

x=as.integer(2)

microbenchmark(RFun=RFun(x),cppFun=cppFun(x),times=1e5)

Unit: nanoseconds

expr min lq mean median uq max neval cld

RFun 302 357 470.2047 449 513 110152 1e+06 a

cppFun 2330 2598 4045.0059 2729 2879 68752603 1e+06 b

`cppFun`

`RFun`

`cppFun`

Answer

This simply is not a well-posed or thought-out question as the comments above indicate.

The supposed baseline of an empty function simply is not one. Every function created via `cppFunction()`

et al will call *one R function* interfacing to *some C++ function*. So this simply cannot be equal.

Here is a slightly more meaningful comparison. For starters, let's make the R function complete with curlies. Second, let's call another compiler (internal) function:

```
require(Rcpp)
require(microbenchmark)
cppFunction('int cppFun (int x) {return x;}')
RFun1 <- function(x) { x }
RFun2 <- function(x) { .Primitive("abs")(x) }
print(microbenchmark(RFun1(2L), RFun2(2L), cppFun(2L), times=1e5))
```

On my box, I see a) a closer gap between versions 1 and 2 (or the C++ function) and b) little penalty over the internal function. *But calling ANY compiled function from R has cost.*

```
Unit: nanoseconds
expr min lq mean median uq max neval
RFun1(2L) 171 338 434.136 355 408 2659984 1e+05
RFun2(2L) 683 937 1334.046 1257 1341 7605628 1e+05
cppFun(2L) 721 1131 1416.091 1239 1385 8544656 1e+05
```

As we say in the real world: there ain't no free lunch.