Clojure and me has moved.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

About the subtitle

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The subtitle for this blog may be misleading. Actually it reads "When the pupil is ready to learn, a teacher will appear."
I picked this Zen proverb because in early 2008 I was looking for a language with the following requirements: strong metaprogrammability, strong concurrency support, strong functional bias and bonus points for running on the JVM. I had prepared myself to not find the rare bird when I met Clojure (and it was nearly love at first sight).
So in that perspective I am the pupil and Clojure (the language, Rich Hickey and the whole community) the teacher.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Clojure as fast as Java!

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I wrote a prototypal implementation of IPersistentSet in Clojure written with new new and, surprisingly, on its first benchmark it's already on par with Java-based implementations.
(dotimes [i 10]
(let [n (int (Math/pow 2 (+ 10 i)))
_ (println "n=" n)
a (do
(print "clojure\t")
(time (doall (let [s (reduce conj empty-set (range 0 n 2))] (map #(get s %) (range n))))))
b (do
(print "java\t")
(time (doall (let [s (reduce conj #{} (range 0 n 2))] (map #(get s %) (range n))))))]
(println (= a b))))


n= 1024
clojure "Elapsed time: 1.006064 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 0.736197 msecs"
n= 2048
clojure "Elapsed time: 1.813009 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 1.328102 msecs"
n= 4096
clojure "Elapsed time: 3.590191 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 2.608153 msecs"
n= 8192
clojure "Elapsed time: 7.046566 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 5.807302 msecs"
n= 16384
clojure "Elapsed time: 16.015862 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 10.284897 msecs"
n= 32768
clojure "Elapsed time: 29.803928 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 23.850378 msecs"
n= 65536
clojure "Elapsed time: 68.79778 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 63.947582 msecs"
n= 131072
clojure "Elapsed time: 132.082499 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 113.433411 msecs"
n= 262144
clojure "Elapsed time: 292.149631 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 265.39197 msecs"
n= 524288
clojure "Elapsed time: 595.265321 msecs"
java "Elapsed time: 698.711009 msecs"

To tell the truth, this benchmark is a bit unfair for Java: no dummy map and slightly different algorithms (half-full bitmap nodes become array-nodes, no leaf-node etc.).
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What *warn-on-reflection* doesn't tell you about arrays

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user=> (time (let [a (make-array Object 100)] (dotimes [i 10000000] (aset a (rem i 100) nil))))
Reflection warning, NO_SOURCE_PATH:840 - call to aset can't be resolved.
"Elapsed time: 136063.015272 msecs"

With aget/aset, the index must be hinted to be an int:
user=> (time (let [a (make-array Object 100)] (dotimes [i 10000000] (aset a (int (rem i 100)) nil))))
"Elapsed time: 1064.546402 msecs"

Wow, more than 100x faster (reflection is bad) but despite the compiler doesn't complain one can help it to choose a faster path:
user=> (time (let [a #^"[Ljava.lang.Object;" (make-array Object 100)] (dotimes [i 10000000] (aset a (int (rem i 100)) nil))))
"Elapsed time: 247.446882 msecs"

On the whole we get a 500x speed-up with only two type hints.