Numeric access to char[]

Chad J gamerChad at
Fri Aug 25 14:13:20 PDT 2006

nobody wrote:
> Chad J wrote:
>> nobody wrote:
>>> Chad J wrote:
>>>> nobody wrote:
>>>> ....
>>>>> So you will have to do it manually. I would like to suggest that if 
>>>>> you can pad the char[] to ensure its .length % 8 == 0 then you can 
>>>>> cast it to a ulong and your shifting will be faster.
>>>> Sure about ulong?  In my spare time I made my own minimal Bignum 
>>>> implementation.  I'm not sure about shifts, but for addition with 
>>>> carrying it was faster to use size_t (uint in this case) rather than 
>>>> ulong.  I wonder if maybe the compiler could optimize it better if 
>>>> it didn't have to emulate 64 bit integers.  Or my benchmark was borked.
>>> I certainly could be wrong but I would be quite surprised. I would be 
>>> interested to see what tests you ran that suggest addition with carry 
>>> was faster.
>> This BigNum I made is very incomplete and probably slow.  Changing the 
>> size of it's digits shouldn't do anything besides just that, though.
>> I have attached 2 .d files, BigNum.d is the implementation, main.d is 
>> the benchmark.  I compiled it with dmd -O -inline -release.  At the 
>> top of BigNum.d there is an alias that I use to switch between size_t 
>> and ulong variables used in the computation.
>> Here are my results.  See main.d for details of the setup.
>> Microseconds to complete 1000000 additions using size_t:
>> 786779
>> 776801
>> 793653
>> 783896
>> 787937
>> 789150
>> Microseconds to complete 1000000 additions using ulong:
>> 866767
>> 860499
>> 866921
>> 865791
>> 860874
>> 858154
> Thanks for taking the time to post this. It will be a little while 
> before I can sit down and play with the code you sent so I thought I 
> would give you my first impression. It looks like you have tested the 
> time it takes to add a 20 "digit" number to an 18 "digit" number:
>   BigDigit[20] test1;
>   BigDigit[18] test2;
> You define these numbers as one of the two:
>   alias size_t BigDigit; // for optimal performance
>   alias ulong BigDigit;
> I think the easiest way to suggest the problem with your test is in 
> finding how many bytes we are adding in each case:
>   20 * 4 = 80 bytes
>   20 * 8 = 160 bytes
> What your results actually seem to be saying is that treating char[160] 
> as a ulong takes slightly longer than treating char[80] as a uint. I am 
> still fairly convinced that if you test again with an equal number of 
> bytes you should find that the ulong case will be faster. If you have a 
> chance to run the test before me I would be interested to hear the results.

Ah, good catch.  That does turn the results around, now the ulong leads 
slightly instead of the other way around.

BigDigit[20] test1;
BigDigit[18] test2;


ulong[20] test1;
ulong[18] test2;

w/ size_t:

w/ ulong:

Another thing with the test... random numbers.  It probably won't matter 
much, but when using 64 bit digits, only the lo 32 bits get filled by 
phobo's rand() function, which means no carrying, ever.  Also, it might 
be interesting to do extreme cases like where the numbers always have 
all of the bits set, which forces carrying all the time.

I also noticed that I broke the unittest when I tried to free up any 
memory the carrying might have wasted, so I've fixed that and here's the 
new version.  (This really didn't have an effect on speed, just correctness)
-------------- next part --------------
An embedded and charset-unspecified text was scrubbed...
Name: BigNum.d

More information about the Digitalmars-d-learn mailing list