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Scanf and number formats

Vig
Is scanf or any other function capable of reading numbers in the format
1.2345d-13 where 'd' serves the same role as 'e' usually does in scientific
notation? This operation is iterated through several times and we really
would like not to have to read it as a string first or anything like that.

Thanks
--
Vig
Nov 14 '05 #1
4 1944
In article <d1**********@news-int.gatech.edu>,
Vig <gt*****@mail.gatech.edu> wrote:
:Is scanf or any other function capable of reading numbers in the format
:1.2345d-13 where 'd' serves the same role as 'e' usually does in scientific
:notation?

Not scanf(), and not any other standard C library routine that I can think of.

:This operation is iterated through several times and we really
:would like not to have to read it as a string first or anything like that.

Surely the slow part of the operation would be the read from disk?
Once the input line has been read from disk, it is going to be in
memory, in which case you can replace the 'd' with 'e' and sscanf()
the result. All it costs is examining the input line once or twice more
in memory.

If you get stuck, then provided the copyright issues are
compatible with your legal situations, you could use a slightly
modified version of glibc's scanf() function.
--
I was very young in those days, but I was also rather dim.
-- Christopher Priest
Nov 14 '05 #2
Vig
"Walter Roberson" <ro******@ibd.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote in message
news:d1**********@canopus.cc.umanitoba.ca...
Not scanf(), and not any other standard C library routine that I can think of.

Yes. Me neither. The only place I've seen the format used is by Fortran
people. Can anyone confirm that C does not support reading numbers like
this?

Surely the slow part of the operation would be the read from disk?
Once the input line has been read from disk, it is going to be in
memory, in which case you can replace the 'd' with 'e' and sscanf()
the result. All it costs is examining the input line once or twice more
in memory.


Almost everything we read from files are numbers. Currently, it is scanned
with a %lf unless otherwise specified. If we are to handle the problem of
the 'd' that would mean almost multiplying our time for reading even good
files without d's by 3. Also, I cannot directly replace an e with a d
because Scientific notation is usually written as 0.123456e+01 while d is
1.23456d0 (I am not completely sure, which is why I want C to handle it all
for me :) )

--
Vig
Nov 14 '05 #3
In article <d1**********@news-int.gatech.edu>,
Vig <gt*****@mail.gatech.edu> wrote:
:Also, I cannot directly replace an e with a d
:because Scientific notation is usually written as 0.123456e+01 while d is
:1.23456d0 (I am not completely sure, which is why I want C to handle it all
:for me :) )

On output, C's e format,

is converted to the style [-]d.ddde+dd, where there is one digit
before the decimal-point character (which is nonzero if the
argument is nonzero)

On input, a string of digits is accepted before the decimal point.
The sign after the 'e' on input is optional. Thus, 0.123456e+01
and 1.23456e0 are equivilent [except perhaps in the last bit or two
when one is at the limit of precision.]
:Almost everything we read from files are numbers. Currently, it is scanned
:with a %lf unless otherwise specified. If we are to handle the problem of
:the 'd' that would mean almost multiplying our time for reading even good
:files without d's by 3.

No, that doesn't follow. The time required to read data from a file is
largely dominated by the disk I/O rate... modified by operating
system predictive reads, direct I/O or not, DMA block size, SCSI
Command Tag Queuing (CTQ), ability of the OS to flip a DMA page
directly into user space without having to copy it, and so on.

When you use scanf(), then unless you have specifically turned off
buffering, the C I/O library will usually [but not promised in the
standard] fill a block from the I/O subsytem (or I/O cache),
putting the block into your memory space; the block size is often
8 Kb. Once the block has been read in, scanf() is really just
reading the data from memory, as if it were using getc() to fetch
each character. [It has to be that way because you are allowed
to mix getc() and scanf(), so they both have to read from the
same input buffer, and it usually isn't worth duplicating the
logic.] getc() is usually a macro that works with the FILE
structure.

The slow part of reading is getting the data from disk to your
program the first time; once there, you could examine the data a
number of times before the next batch was ready. For example if your
disk subsystem is SCSI-2 Fast, your disk might be limited to
20 megabytes per second; on a 2 GHz CPU, you could run 100
cycles per character and still keep up with the disk.

If you are sufficiently starved for CPU resources that
doing a quick scan-and-replace over the buffer is slowing you
down, then you should probably already have done a bunch
of work on custom I/O (e.g., using "real time" partitions,
using a raw partition instead of a block device, using
scatter-gather buffering, using any available O/S
facilities to bypass caching; ensuring your input data
is always a multiple of an I/O page and always reading
in full blocks instead of going through the per-character
end-of-buffer checks imposed by getc().) You should not
presume that a simple scan over the buffer will prove
to be the limiting speed factor on your program: it
probably won't.

Speaking of limiting speed factors: consider having a
pre-pass program that does nothing other than reading in
the data and converting it to binary and storing the
binary as a file with fixed length records. Such a program
could probably run asynchronously with whatever calculation
you are doing -- and if you are reading the input file
multiple times in different programs, you will have
saved having to convert the ASCII multiple times.
You will get about a 3:1 compression ratio by converting
the input to binary.
--
Any sufficiently old bug becomes a feature.
Nov 14 '05 #4
Vig
"Walter Roberson" <ro******@ibd.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote in message
news:d1**********@canopus.cc.umanitoba.ca...
:Also, I cannot directly replace an e with a d
:because Scientific notation is usually written as 0.123456e+01 while d is
:1.23456d0 (I am not completely sure, which is why I want C to handle it all :for me :) )

On output, C's e format,

is converted to the style [-]d.ddde+dd, where there is one digit
before the decimal-point character (which is nonzero if the
argument is nonzero)
Yes...It's pretty retarded of me to grumble about convention if converting
d's to e's will still be read correctly.
On input, a string of digits is accepted before the decimal point.
The sign after the 'e' on input is optional. Thus, 0.123456e+01
and 1.23456e0 are equivilent [except perhaps in the last bit or two
when one is at the limit of precision.]
:Almost everything we read from files are numbers. Currently, it is scanned :with a %lf unless otherwise specified. If we are to handle the problem of :the 'd' that would mean almost multiplying our time for reading even good
:files without d's by 3.

No, that doesn't follow. The time required to read data from a file is
largely dominated by the disk I/O rate... modified by operating
system predictive reads, direct I/O or not, DMA block size, SCSI
Command Tag Queuing (CTQ), ability of the OS to flip a DMA page
directly into user space without having to copy it, and so on.
Ya...just thinking it out and talking to you has made me remove a lot of
ridiculous code I had put in place. I think the d to e substitution will
work albeit it would have to be done smartly when I am more awake :)
When you use scanf(), then unless you have specifically turned off
buffering, the C I/O library will usually [but not promised in the
standard] fill a block from the I/O subsytem (or I/O cache),
putting the block into your memory space; the block size is often
8 Kb. Once the block has been read in, scanf() is really just
reading the data from memory, as if it were using getc() to fetch
each character. [It has to be that way because you are allowed
to mix getc() and scanf(), so they both have to read from the
same input buffer, and it usually isn't worth duplicating the
logic.] getc() is usually a macro that works with the FILE
structure.

The slow part of reading is getting the data from disk to your
program the first time; once there, you could examine the data a
number of times before the next batch was ready. For example if your
disk subsystem is SCSI-2 Fast, your disk might be limited to
20 megabytes per second; on a 2 GHz CPU, you could run 100
cycles per character and still keep up with the disk.

If you are sufficiently starved for CPU resources that
doing a quick scan-and-replace over the buffer is slowing you
down, then you should probably already have done a bunch
of work on custom I/O (e.g., using "real time" partitions,
using a raw partition instead of a block device, using
scatter-gather buffering, using any available O/S
facilities to bypass caching; ensuring your input data
is always a multiple of an I/O page and always reading
in full blocks instead of going through the per-character
end-of-buffer checks imposed by getc().) You should not
presume that a simple scan over the buffer will prove
to be the limiting speed factor on your program: it
probably won't.

Speaking of limiting speed factors: consider having a
pre-pass program that does nothing other than reading in
the data and converting it to binary and storing the
binary as a file with fixed length records. Such a program
could probably run asynchronously with whatever calculation
you are doing -- and if you are reading the input file
multiple times in different programs, you will have
saved having to convert the ASCII multiple times.
You will get about a 3:1 compression ratio by converting
the input to binary.
That is actually a good idea, but I had to stamp it out of my head in about
10 seconds because I am only fixing a bug right now and there doesn't seem
to be a possibility of me being able to talk people into this :)
Any sufficiently old bug becomes a feature.


And Vice Versa :)

Thanks for all the help
--
Vig
Nov 14 '05 #5

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