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Profiler for Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg36463] Profiler for Mathematica
  • From: Husain Ali Al-Mohssen <husain at MIT.EDU>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 03:30:38 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi All,

I have been trying to code Sethian's Fast Marching Method in 2D but Mathematica
has been very slow (taking something like 1-2 hours for something that
should take much less than a second in C++). I am sure part of the problem
lies in the way I wrote the code but I don't know what is spending most of
my time.

I looked at the list archives and there was mention of an profiling
package for Mathematica but a)I can't find it & b)It may not work with Mathematica 4.*.
My questions:
1. Any general suggestions on how to figure out which functions are taking
most of the time? I guess I could manually have each function I am
interested in monitoring keep a variable that counts the amount of CPU
time that has been spent on it by doing something like:
function[args_]:=Module[{},functionTimer+=Timing[ .... My actual function
..... ][[1]]]
but it would very cumbersome to do this to all of the functions in my
program and I am not sure I will get accurate results anyway.
2. Compiling functions is not always that easy. I did read the on-line
docs and the archives and it does take some work to make a function
compile usefully. Is there an FAQ or a tutorial somewhere?
3. Am I the only one who finds the lack of a profiler really really
annoying ? Mathematica is powerful and it is usually easy to  ask it to do what u
want. The challenge a lot of times is doing so without taking too long.

PS: One more quick one: Why does the front end act funny when I have the
num lock turned on on Linux? (Linux,Athlon, KDE)

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