KgOfHedgehogs - 1 year ago 103

Python Question

I did homework and I accidentally found a strange inconsistency in the speed of the algorithm.

Here is 2 versions of code of same function bur with 1 difference: in first version i use 3 times array generator to filter some array and in second version i use 1 for loop with 3 if statements to do same filter work.

So, here is code of 1st version:

`def kth_order_statistic(array, k):`

pivot = (array[0] + array[len(array) - 1]) // 2

l = [x for x in array if x < pivot]

m = [x for x in array if x == pivot]

r = [x for x in array if x > pivot]

if k <= len(l):

return kth_order_statistic(l, k)

elif k > len(l) + len(m):

return kth_order_statistic(r, k - len(l) - len(m))

else:

return m[0]

And here code of 2nd version:

`def kth_order_statistic2(array, k):`

pivot = (array[0] + array[len(array) - 1]) // 2

l = []

m = []

r = []

for x in array:

if x < pivot:

l.append(x)

elif x > pivot:

r.append(x)

else:

m.append(x)

if k <= len(l):

return kth_order_statistic2(l, k)

elif k > len(l) + len(m):

return kth_order_statistic2(r, k - len(l) - len(m))

else:

return m[0]

IPython output for 1st version:

`In [4]: %%timeit`

...: A = range(100000)

...: shuffle(A)

...: k = randint(1, len(A)-1)

...: order_statisctic(A, k)

...:

10 loops, best of 3: 120 ms per loop

And for 2nd version:

`In [5]: %%timeit`

...: A = range(100000)

...: shuffle(A)

...: k = randint(1, len(A)-1)

...: kth_order_statistic2(A, k)

...:

10 loops, best of 3: 169 ms per loop

So why first version is faster than second? I also made third version wich using filter() function instead of array generator and it was slower than second version (it got 218 ms per loop)

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Answer Source

Let's define the functions we will need to answer the question and timeit them:

we can see that the for loops without the append command is as fast as the list comprehension. In fact, if we have a look at the bytecode we can see that in the case of the list comprehension python is able to use a built-in bytecode command called LIST_APPEND instead of:

- Load the list: 40 LOAD_FAST
- Load the attribute: 43 LOAD_ATTRIBUTE
- Call the loaded function: 49 CALL_FUNCTION
- Unload the list(?): 52 POP_TOP

As you can see from the picture below the previous bytecode are missing with list comprehension and with the "loop_fast" function. Comparing the timeit of the three function is clear that those are responsible for the different timing of the three methods.

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