Monday, September 28, 2009

Matlab Performance Benchmarking

Matlab has a lot of interesting little functions/programs that you will come to discover along the way. One of the interesting functions that matlab has is an evaluation timer. By using the "tic" and "toc" commands, you can get an idea of where your inefficiencies are in your coding. I learned about this feature during a course I took in my graduate studies called Introduction to Neural Networks. Neural Networks are a very process intensive and it is important to be as efficient as possible if you want to have some sort of practical application. In neural networks it is common to see algorithms displayed in two forms: iterative/looping or vector-matrix form. I was playing around with these two forms and was interested in how one method performed over the other so I started search for a way to benchmark my functions; thats when I came across tic-toc. I already knew Matlab was particularly friendly with matrix operations versus looping operations but I wanted to quantify that speculation.


By encapsulating your code between tic and toc Matlab can output a timer that keeps track of how long it took to evaluate that segment of code. Try it out for yourself and you might find some better methodologies for coding in Matlab.

Also, if you are just looking to benchmark your computers performance try:



  1. ... and it is also a great way to challenge your friends to see who has the fastest matlab algorithm

  2. Haha, yeah that was good times! Staying late in Kingsbury to see who had the fastest code