Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] [sort] Re: [review] Formal review period for Sort library begins today, November 10, and ends Wednesday, November 1
From: Steven Ross (spreadsort_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-11-23 06:46:40

On Fri Nov 14 2014 at 10:43:48 PM Steven Ross <spreadsort_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> On Thu Nov 13 2014 at 2:07:53 AM Vladimir Prus <vladimir_at_[hidden]>
> wrote:
what input data distribution is this? Could you run the tests with
>> worst-case data distribution
>> for your algorithm?
> The input data distribution was evenly distributed 32-bit random data.
> The absolute worst-case distribution I've been able to design for
> spreadsort is binaryalrbreaker with an ALR_THRESHOLD of 3.
> With 32-bit integers, it has 512 elements, and takes 15 microseconds for
> integer_sort, and 14 microseconds for std::sort.
> With 64-bit integers, it has 131072 elements, and takes 2.8ms for
> integer_sort, and 1.6ms for std::sort.
> If you add or subtract any elements, it won't be the worst-case
> distribution! If I simply double the number of elements, 64-bit
> integer_sort takes 5.35ms, and std::sort takes 4.56ms. I'm not sure what
> kind of graph would make sense with this type of situation. I'd also like
> to note that this distribution is specifically designed to make
> integer_sort slow, and cannot be scaled up without improving the relative
> speed of integer_sort.

In analyzing this data to see why it was slower with integer_sort than
std::sort, I realized that it was creating the input data in reverse-sorted
order. This ends up being a case where std::sort is substantially faster
than usual (as branch prediction becomes very accurate), making it not a
worst-case comparison. I changed the code to swap 10% of the inputs with
random other inputs to break up the reverse-sorted order, and both
integer_sort and std::sort slowed down to comparable speeds. I also
regenerated the data (the least significant bits are randomized) and reran
the sort 10 times in a loop (on new data each time) to reduce noise. The
net result is:
std::sort elapsed time 0.049344
integer_sort elapsed time 0.046429
(results in seconds)
integer_sort is 6% faster on 64-bit integers, on my Ubuntu system, for
integer_sort's worst-case distribution.
The code is checked into the develop branch
in example/binaryalrbreaker.cpp. From the <BOOST_ROOT>/libs/sort
directory, you can run b2 --tune binaryalrbreaker and then run the
generated binaryalrbreaker executable.

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at