# [R] Speeding indexing and sub-sectioning of 3d array

Patrick Burns pburns at pburns.seanet.com
Wed Aug 9 22:41:49 CEST 2006

```First off, I hope that the function you list is just an example
since it only returns what the last iteration does -- obviously
the same answer can be arrived at much quicker.

The main principal in speeding up loops is to do as little
inside the loops as possible.  'fjj1' is essentially the same as
the listed function, but with one slight cleanup.

fjj1 <-
{
dx <- dim(x)
dx1 <- dx
dx2 <- dx
dx3 <- dx
}
}
}
ans
}

The time to run fjj1(jj, 3) on my machine where jj is a
245 by 175 by 150 array was 1222 seconds.

'fjj2'  substantially reduces the number of sequences
created.  It took 975 seconds.

fjj2 <-
{
dx <- dim(x)
dx1 <- dx
dx2 <- dx
dx3 <- dx
ans <- mean(x[i + rseq, j + rseq, k + rseq])
}
}
}
ans
}

'fjj3' reduces some of the subscripting (but possibly at the
expense of using more memory -- I'm not sure if it does or
not).  It took 936 seconds.

fjj3 <-
{
dx <- dim(x)
dx1 <- dx
dx2 <- dx
dx3 <- dx
A <- x[i + rseq, , , drop=FALSE]
B <- A[, j + rseq, , drop=FALSE]
ans <- mean(B[ , , k + rseq])
}
}
}
ans
}

'fjj4' reverses the order of the loops.  Because of the
way that arrays are stored, it makes sense that subscripting
a sequence in the first dimension would be faster than
subscripting subsequent dimensions.  This does seem to be
the case.  'fjj4' took 839 seconds.

fjj4 <-
{
dx <- dim(x)
dx1 <- dx
dx2 <- dx
dx3 <- dx
A <- x[, ,i + rseq, drop=FALSE]
B <- A[, j + rseq, , drop=FALSE]
ans <- mean(B[k + rseq, , ])
}
}
}
ans
}

Another change that would make a marginal difference
would be to generate the sequences controlling the inner
loops once at the outset.

If the computation at the heart of the function really is a
mean or something similar, then it is possible that there
will be tricks to update that value more efficiently.

Finally, if this will be used enough that the speed is an
issue, then rewriting it in C would be a good approach.

Patrick Burns
patrick at burns-stat.com
+44 (0)20 8525 0696
http://www.burns-stat.com
(home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")

Swidan, Firas wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I am having a problem with a very slow indexing and sub-sectioning of a 3d
>array:
>
>
>
>>dim(arr)
>>
>>
> 245 175 150
>
>For each point in the array, I am trying to calculate the mean of the values
>in its surrounding:
>
>
>
>Putting that code in 3 for loops
>
>
>  for( i in (radius + 1):(dim(arr) - radius - 1) ){
>    for( j in (radius + 1):(dim(arr) - radius - 1) )
>      for( k in (radius + 1):(dim(arr) - radius - 1) ){
>
>
>
>      }
>  }
>  return(mediansArr)
>}
>
>Results in a very slow run:
>
>
>
>>system.time( calculateKMedian( a, 3))
>>
>>
> 423.468   0.096 423.631   0.000   0.000
>
>If I replace
>
>
>
> mediansArr <- arr[i,j,k]
>
>The running time decreases to
>
>
>
>>system.time( calculateKMedian( a, 3))
>>
>>
> 14.821  0.005 14.829  0.000  0.000
>
>
>
>But 14 seconds are still pretty expensive for just scanning the array.
>
>Is there anything I can do to speed the indexing and the sub-sectioning of
>the 3d array in this case?
>
>Thanks for the help,
>Firas.
>
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