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C++ - STL usage 'Advice'

I'm perusing a slide with roughly 12 bullets spread across 3 pages.
Each bullet reflects 'advice'. I'm ok with all but 1 bullet, more
specifically the bullet that states:
" Avoid the STL unless absolutely necessary "

Now, I'm not acclimated with much C++ history, but something tells me
this is akin to trepidation that surrounded C++ during it's inception?
IOW, is this 'old school' rhetoric or ..... How do you refute this

I persued the web and there was discussion about code bloat (pre 2000
posts) but I'm not quite fure if I'm following that. Oh well, I
thought I'd inquire within. I'm a fan of lang.c++/learn and moderated
c++ and rest assured the vast majority of folks on here know what the
hell they're talking about so somebody will set me straight.

Granted, my background is signal proceesing, I've enjoyed the language
to include the STL and all it's glory (the Big O notation still
confuses me) but I'm tempted to go to the upcoming Vegas conference on
the language and ask Bjarne, Scott, Herb etc. this question :)
// formerly ma******@pegasu s.cc.ucf.edu

Oct 11 '05
11 4770
ma******@gmail. com wrote:
|| I think the C++ versions are much more easy to understand -- after
all you
|| can see the complex arithmetic. Also, I would be surprised if they
|| actually slower than the C version. After all this is a pretty
|| forward translation.

Impressive. I suspect it's time to reivew std::complex and iterators
in depth. I ended up perusing those chapters (oso lightly) in
Josuttis. Do you have anything like this for FFT and IFFT ;) Makes me
think my custom versions (at the lab right now) are also unnatural.

I don't have the faintest idea about FFT or IFFT -- I do not even know what
IFFT means. However, if you post some code, I will have a look.

Kai-Uwe Bux

Oct 12 '05 #11
ma******@gmail. com wrote:
Do you have anything like this for FFT and IFFT ;)

So, I read up a little bit on this FFT thing. Seems that it is an easy
divide and conquer idea -- at least for powers of 2 (I did not bother
thinking hard about other primes). So, here is a first draft of how one
could go about this.

// FFT
// ===
| Discrete Fourier Transform can be regarded as evaluating a
| polynomial of degree N-1 on the powers
| omega^0, omega, omega^2, ..., omega^(N-1) where omega is a the
| Nth root of unity.
| Given a polynomial of even degree
| p(t) = a_0 + a_1 t + a_2 t^2 + ...
| we find:
| p(t) = a_0 + a_2 t^2 + a_4 t^4 + ... + t( a_1 + a_3 t^2 + ... )
| = q_e( t^2 ) + t q_o ( t^2 )
| where q_e and q_o are polynomials formed with the even and odd
| coefficients of p(t). Thus, we get
| p(1) = q_e(1) + omega^0 q_o(1)
| p(omega) = q_e(omega^2) + omega^1 q_o(omega^2)
| p(omega^2) = q_e(omega^4) + omega^2 q_o(omega^4)
| ...
| Note how on the rhs the Fouriertransfor ms of q_e and q_o appear. Thus:

#include <cstdlib>
#include <cmath>
#include <iostream>
#include <numeric>
#include <functional>
#include <vector>
#include <algorithm>
#include <complex>
#include <iterator>

namespace fft {

typedef double real_number;
typedef std::complex< real_number > complex_number;
typedef std::vector< complex_number > complex_vector;
typedef complex_vector: :size_type size_type;

complex_number unit_complex ( real_number arg ) {
return complex_number ( std::cos( arg ), std::sin( arg ) );

real_number rational_arg ( size_type i, size_type m ) {
return( 2.0 * 3.141592654 * static_cast<rea l_number>(i)
/ static_cast<rea l_number>(m) );

bool is_odd ( size_type m ) {
return( m % 2 != 0 );

class DFT_Pseudoitera tor
: public std::iterator< std::input_iter ator_tag,
complex_number const *,
complex_number const &> {

complex_number omega_to_the_i;
complex_number omega_to_the_ik ;
size_type k;


DFT_Pseudoitera tor ( real_number sign,
size_type i,
size_type length,
bool past_end = false )
: omega_to_the_i ( unit_complex ( - sign * rational_arg( i,
length ) ) )
, omega_to_the_ik ( 1.0 )
, k ( past_end ? length : 0 )

complex_number operator* ( void ) const {
return ( omega_to_the_ik );

DFT_Pseudoitera tor & operator++ ( void ) {
omega_to_the_ik *= omega_to_the_i;
++ k;
return( *this );

DFT_Pseudoitera tor operator++ ( int ) {
DFT_Pseudoitera tor dummy ( *this );
++ k;
return( dummy );

bool operator== ( DFT_Pseudoitera tor const & other ) const {
return( ( this->omega_to_the _i == other.omega_to_ the_i )
( this->k == other.k ) );

bool operator!= ( DFT_Pseudoitera tor const & other ) const {
return( ! ( *this == other ) );

}; // DFT_Pseudoitera tor

void DFT( bool do_forward, complex_vector & z ) {
const real_number sign ( do_forward ? 1.0 : -1.0 );
const size_type length = z.size();

// allocate result
complex_vector result;
result.reserve( length );

// do matrix multiplication
for ( size_type i = 0; i < length; ++ i ) {
DFT_Pseudoitera tor coefficient_ite r ( sign, i, length );
result.push_bac k( std::inner_prod uct( z.begin(), z.end(),
coefficient_ite r,
complex_number( 0.0) ) );

// rescale if forward
if ( do_forward ) {
for ( size_type i = 0; i < length; ++ i ) {
result[i] /= static_cast<rea l_number>( length );

// copy data back (swap is fast!)
z.swap( result );

void FFT ( complex_vector & z ) {
size_type const length = z.size();
if ( is_odd( length ) ) {
// too bad, were odd
DFT( true, z );
} else {
// good, we are even.
// Let's divide and conquer!
complex_vector odd;
complex_vector even;
odd.reserve( length / 2 );
even.reserve( length / 2 );
for ( complex_vector: :const_iterator run = z.begin();
run != z.end(); ++ run ) {
even.push_back( *run );
++ run;
odd.push_back( *run );
FFT( even );
FFT( odd );
DFT_Pseudoitera tor omega_iter ( 1.0, 1, length );
for ( size_type i = 0; i < length / 2; ++ i, ++ omega_iter ) {
z[i] = 0.5 * ( even[i] + *omega_iter * odd[i] );
// the next line works because omega^(length/2) = -1 !!!
z[i + length/2] = 0.5 * ( even[i] - *omega_iter * odd[i] );

void IFFT ( complex_vector & z ) {
size_type const length = z.size();
if ( is_odd( length ) ) {
// too bad, were odd
DFT( false, z );
} else {
// good, we are even.
// Let's divide and conquer!
complex_vector odd;
complex_vector even;
odd.reserve( length / 2 );
even.reserve( length / 2 );
for ( complex_vector: :const_iterator run = z.begin();
run != z.end(); ++ run ) {
even.push_back( *run );
++ run;
odd.push_back( *run );
IFFT( even );
IFFT( odd );
DFT_Pseudoitera tor omega_iter ( -1.0, 1, length );
for ( size_type i = 0; i < length / 2; ++ i, ++ omega_iter ) {
z[i] = even[i] + *omega_iter * odd[i];
// the next line works because omega^(length/2) = -1 !!!
z[i + length/2] = even[i] - *omega_iter * odd[i];

template < typename ComplexIterator >
void FFT ( bool do_forward,
ComplexIterator const & from, ComplexIterator const & to ) {
complex_vector z ( from, to );
if ( do_forward ) {
FFT( z );
} else {
IFFT( z );
std::copy( z.begin(), z.end(), from );

} // namespace fft

int main ( void ) {
fft::complex_ve ctor z;
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( 0.5, 2 ) );
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( 0.7, 1.4 ) );
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( 0.9, -2.1 ) );
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( 0.9, -2.1 ) );
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( -1.2, 1.1 ) );
z.push_back( fft::complex_nu mber( -1.2, 1.1 ) );

fft::DFT( true, z );
std::copy( z.begin(), z.end(),
std::ostream_it erator< fft::complex_nu mber >( std::cout, "\n" ) );
fft::DFT( false, z );
std::copy( z.begin(), z.end(),
std::ostream_it erator< fft::complex_nu mber >( std::cout, "\n" ) );
fft::FFT( true, z.begin(), z.end() );
std::copy( z.begin(), z.end(),
std::ostream_it erator< fft::complex_nu mber >( std::cout, "\n" ) );
fft::FFT( false, z.begin(), z.end() );
std::copy( z.begin(), z.end(),
std::ostream_it erator< fft::complex_nu mber >( std::cout, "\n" ) );

I did not bother putting in many comments. So, I cannot claim that I have
proof that this code is correct -- but I am reasonably confident, except
that I may have switched FFT and IFFT.

Also, please note that this code is in no way optimized for performance
(except for a slight change in DFT_Pseudoitera tor that now avoids
unnecessary calls to trig-functions). I am pretty sure that one can
eliminate many of the copies that are made just to separate the even and
odd indices. I think, that one should be able to do most of this in place
(maybe some fancy slice tricks from the <valarray> header would be cool).
But any of that would probably make the code more difficult to understand.

Also, a final version should probably be completely templated on the
real_number type.

Kai-Uwe Bux
Oct 12 '05 #12

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