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MathGroup Archive 1996

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Re: 3.0 = Rip Roaring Resource Hog :-(

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg5129] Re: [mg5094] 3.0 = Rip Roaring Resource Hog :-(
  • From: jpk at apex.mpe.FTA-Berlin.de (Jens-Peer Kuska)
  • Date: Wed, 6 Nov 1996 01:32:47 -0500
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> It is starting to sink into my brain that Mathematica is extremely wasteful 
> of system resources.  For the first time, I am thinking about moving my 
> work over to MATLAB.  I need a program that knows what machine numbers are!

schnipp, schnipp 

> MATHEMATICA 3.0 TAKES 9 MEGABYTES TO STORE 0.5 MEGABYTES OF DATA.  This is 
> an inefficiency ratio of 18:1.  I AM HAVING SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THE 
> ABILITY OF THIS PROGRAM TO DEAL WITH REAL LABORATORY DATA SETS.

Hi Mark,

Mma has the most general descripton of expressions. 
This general structure had it's price. Mutch of the
beauty of Mma and it's programming language relies on this
general structure. You must keep in mind that Mathematica is
a Computer-Algebra System and *not*

- a data analysis system
- graphics system

Yes, You can use it for data analysis and graphics and You can
eat ice cream with a knife. You can`t have the powerful general programming
language *and* the most compact data representation for Your private
kind of data. 

And so, please WRI keep all your efforts on the general data structure
and the powerful programming language -- dont mind about memory
(its cheep and will become cheeper every day).

Jens

PS: I use Mma over years to process my data from particle/plasma 
simulations. Every run of my simulation program produces 300 Mbyte
of binary data -- particle coordinates snapshoots, 3D
magnetic & electric fields. All works fast and perfectly since
I can label my Mma graphics with allmost all symbols I can imagine.
But Mma had never seen my data as lists, list of lists or what ever.
I had a MathLink programm that reads and keeps my data. The C-program
has it's own data structure to keep some megabytes in a compact way. Typical
I have 3d array of the (electron) density. The data are stored in a
C-array in the MathLink client. The interface to the data is a
interpolation of the data at every space point. I can access my data via
a MathLink function Interpolate3D[x,y,z] and I had never problems with
that method. You see -- that is the price for my compact data I have
to program in C, deal with pointers and memory allocation and I hardly
miss Mma /@, @@, _?NumberQ. 


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