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Re: Fourier: Execution time for real and complex arguments

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg31833] Re: Fourier: Execution time for real and complex arguments
  • From: Silvia Raffaelli <silviar at>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 05:55:45 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Chalmers University of Technology
  • References: <9ul29u$6lr$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


Sorry for asking these first questions a little
bit prematurely!

Martin Johansson wrote (sent by Silvia Raffaelli):
> I am a little curious about the behavior of the
> DFT-routine Fourier. Two questions:
> 1. Why does Fourier take much more than twice the time
>    to calculate the DFT of a list of imaginary/complex
>    numbers compared to a equal-length list of real
>    numbers (floating-point)?
> 2. Why does the way I generate a list affect the
>    time it takes to run Fourier?

OK, to answer my own question: It's related to whether
the argument is a packed array or not.

The following sample session shows the behavior for
different operations:

PackedArrayQ[Table[Random[],{i,n}] + I 1]
PackedArrayQ[Table[Random[],{i,n}] + I 1.]
PackedArrayQ[     I Table[Random[] ,{i,n}]]
PackedArrayQ[1  + I Table[Random[] ,{i,n}]]
PackedArrayQ[1. + I Table[Random[] ,{i,n}]]

Out[2] = True
Out[3] = False
Out[4] = True
Out[5] = False
Out[6] = False
Out[7] = False

Is this what most people would expect? Is the difference
in behavior for real and imaginary/complex numbers inherent
in the packed array representation? But then, how do
I understand 'Out[4]'?

In conclusion: Which operations produce packed arrays,
and which don't?



Martin Johansson
Ericsson Microwave Systems
m.johansson at

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