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Counter Intuitive Results: Optimising an FFT routine for Speed

Thanks for the replies Tristan, Eric, Steven & Kurt. They have given
me some good leads.

I present justification for a lot of the comments that drew
(constructive) criticism below. Firstly, let me summarise the feedback
that has pointed me in the right direction :-
Steven 20.13: What's the best way of making my program efficient?
A: By picking good algorithms and implementing them carefully.


<hand up> Count me in for that, there was no intention or suggestion
of micro-optimisation or use of inline assembler in my post. What I am
trying to find out is what algorithm is effective and what C syntax is
more efficient, albeit only on the small Turbo-C development system
that I have.
</hand up>
http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html Thanks, I am busy downloading the whole list by sequentially stepping
through all the URLs at this site.
The biggest speed gains in an FFT (and most algorithms) come from much higher-
level transformations. For example, our FFTW (www.fftw.org) ...
I see that I previously downloaded
FFTW 3.0.1 is the latest official version of FFTW

a while back, I am overwhelmed with volume :
458 *.c files (2.9MB)
42 *.h files

Could take me a while to assimilate all of this.

you should use a different routine than clock() I thought I did quite well on the Athlon /Win98, synchronising on the
20ms ticks and counting in between I could improve resolution to
600ns. Still dependent on the system time sharing on the CPU though.
The best resolution comes from reading the CPU cycle counter directly (see
www.fftw.org/download.html for code to do this on many CPUs). Yes, I knew there was something called the "software stopwatch",
hopefully I will come right with CYCLE.H.
I can't go and peep at this URL at the mo' as my C-FAQ download is
still stepping through each answer page. CYCLE.H has quite a bit of
code to it, I suppose I just chuck out most of the CPU specific code
and keep

_( Pentium cycle counter)
typedef unsigned long long ticks;
static __inline__ ticks getticks(void) {
ticks ret;
__asm__ __volatile__("rdtsc": "=A" (ret));
return ret; }
Tristan I followed my usual method of
QUERY GOOGLE -> READ -> FILTER -> POST

and using this I selected the four newsgroups that had hits on
C Speed Optimisation FFT
comp.lang.oberon Subject: Re: Optimizing array bounds checking
Newsgroups: comp.lang.oberon
comp.lang.functional Subject: Re: Academia isn't interested...
Newsgroups: comp.lang.functional
.....
But what you *can* do is generate low-level code from high-level
specifications. This has already been well-demonstrated in e.g. the
FFTW
(written in OCaml), which generates extremely efficient C-algorithms
for the FFT from specifications and specialises them for the given
architecture. This, however, is high-level programming again, not
low-level programming. There is no escape from imperativeness if you
work with von-Neumann architectures on a low level.

Eric You'd have to examine the actual generated code to have a hope
of figuring out what's really happening in any particular case. Don't want to do that, anyway my solution has to be fairly portable,
from me (design engineer) it goes to software engineer, rebuilt under
Visual C++, and then targetted to TMS320 (or equiv) DSP.
Steven You realize, of course, that your first mistake was starting with the
radix-2 Numerical Recipes in C code and spending your time attempting
micro-optimizations. The biggest speed gains in an FFT (and most
algorithms) come from much higher-level transformations. Actually I started with someone else's Fortran->C implementation of an
algorithm that looks like it came from the Cooley-Tukey paper. Then I
stepped to the Numerical Recipes (C) algorithm (Danielson - Lanczos?)
(which by the way still carries the legacy of Fortran array indexing)
This took -72% off the time.

I have refined this in about five major steps, so that at the point of
posting I was
-23% off the time of the NumRep routine as published (only high
level tweaks).

I will perform my last trial of converting the original code to double
without changing the indexing, just to see what I would have got,
before ...

Now, however, I will trawl through all the source in FFTW and see what
I can find.

If you just want a fast FFT and are not doing this as a learning experience, you'll
be much better off downloading an existing optimized code. Even though I will probably do better with an FFTW routine, the
lessons learned will be valuable for other pieces of time critical
code.
A decent compiler should transform array references a[j] in a loop
into separate incremented pointers for you, if it's advantageous to do
so. By being clever you can easily just confuse the compiler's
optimizer unless you know what you're doing. The two sets of indices do not change sequentially, which is why I
hoped that me forcing the use of pointers would be faster.

Kurt

I've done the above many a time. The only way I've been able to cope is
by learning the instruction set and reading the (equivalent) assembly code.
It's pretty easy to tell when you've confused the optimizer.

This would be interesting given unlimited time, I do know that the DSP
code was definitely hand tweaked in the past as portability and
maintainability were far lower priority than performance.

Regards,
Paul
Nov 13 '05 #1
4 3292
Paul Brown wrote:
Don't want to do that, anyway my solution has to be fairly portable,
from me (design engineer) it goes to software engineer, rebuilt under
Visual C++, and then targetted to TMS320 (or equiv) DSP.


Whoa, whoa, hold on, you want this to be fast on a DSP chip? But you're
planning to benchmark and optimize it on a general-purpose CPU?

Sigh...

Nov 13 '05 #2
On Tue, 07 Oct 2003 13:43:11 -0400
"Steven G. Johnson" <st*****@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
Paul Brown wrote:
Don't want to do that, anyway my solution has to be fairly portable,
from me (design engineer) it goes to software engineer, rebuilt
under Visual C++, and then targetted to TMS320 (or equiv) DSP.


Whoa, whoa, hold on, you want this to be fast on a DSP chip? But
you're planning to benchmark and optimize it on a general-purpose CPU?

Sigh...


Optimising for the TMS320 processors (they vary a *lot* BTW) is *way* OT
for this group since on the ones I've used there are all sorts of trick
you can play in assembler that you can't (and the compiler I used did
not) use.

The OP should find a group or mailing list specific to the processor he
wants to use and probably obtain a library written in assembler to make
full use of the facilities the processor has. Also read the processor
manual, ISTR the TMS320C1x/2x/5x books had example FFT code...
--
Mark Gordon
Paid to be a Geek & a Senior Software Developer
Although my email address says spamtrap, it is real and I read it.
Nov 13 '05 #3
po********@pwi.mailshell.com (Paul Brown) writes:
[...]
http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html

Thanks, I am busy downloading the whole list by sequentially stepping
through all the URLs at this site.


The "other versions" link, <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/versions.html>,
points you to a compressed plain-text copy of the whole thing at
<ftp://ftp.eskimo.com/u/s/scs/C-faq/faq.Z>. You can uncompress it
with "uncompress" or "gunzip". Apparently it's the most up-to-date
version available.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks*@cts.com <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://www.sdsc.edu/~kst>
Schroedinger does Shakespeare: "To be *and* not to be"
Nov 13 '05 #4
In article <34**************************@posting.google.com >,
po********@pwi.mailshell.com says...
The best resolution comes from reading the CPU cycle counter directly (see
www.fftw.org/download.html for code to do this on many CPUs).

Yes, I knew there was something called the "software stopwatch",
hopefully I will come right with CYCLE.H.
I can't go and peep at this URL at the mo' as my C-FAQ download is
still stepping through each answer page. CYCLE.H has quite a bit of
code to it, I suppose I just chuck out most of the CPU specific code
and keep

_( Pentium cycle counter)
typedef unsigned long long ticks;
static __inline__ ticks getticks(void) {
ticks ret;
__asm__ __volatile__("rdtsc": "=A" (ret));
return ret; }


This, and most of this thread is OT here, but since you've already
posted this, I don't want others to be bit by this in the future.

Danger: The above is TOTALLY UNRELIABLE on SMP systems. Getting
dependent upon this will bite you, as even notebook computers
are now available with dual CPUs. There is no synchronization
between the TSCs on the individual CPUs. So, you are as likely
as not to get bogus time values if your process gets bounced
between processors.

--
Randy Howard _o
2reply remove FOOBAR \<,
______________________()/ ()______________________________________________
SCO Spam-magnet: po********@sco.com
Nov 13 '05 #5

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