Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Speeding up Python code with Psyco

Possibly the easiest way of speeding up Python code is to use Psyco. Psyco is extremely easy to use and it is at least worth a try before delving into C/C++ mess either directly or with the help of scipy.weave.
The usage is simple, just download Psyco, install it and add following to your code:
import psyco
The full() directive tells Psyco to optimize everything. I usually put these two lines to the beginning of the code, just after other imports. Psyco website states that possible speedups can be between 2x-100x. I have seen every number between 10% faster to 50x faster code execution.
The following is an example of very high acceleration of very simple code:
def test(N, M):
res = []
for i in range(N):
for j in range(M):
if j == 0:
x = i*i*i
return res
Running this function with N = 10000 and M = 100000 takes ~60 seconds on Intel E8200 processor. After importing and running Psyco the very same code takes ~1.2 seconds. The speedup is then ~50x.
Psyco works best on functions which run at least couple of seconds per each call and are similar to the presented test function. Psyco only optimizes code within functions and scripts classes but this isn't really a problem.
To only optimize one function use


buttons! said...

Too bad psyco doesn't support x86_64 at all.

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