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Advanced Software Development with MATLAB

Performance Review Criteria 2: Sticks to Solid Principles

We saw last time how we can use the performance testing framework to easily see the runtime differences between multiple competing algorithms. This can be done without needing to learn about the philosophies and guiding principles of the framework, indeed you don't even need to know that you are using a performance test framework or that the script you are writing is actually even considered a "test".

However (believe you me!), those principles and philosophies are there to be sure. I'd like to walk through some of these principles so that we can all be on the same page and have a good understanding of the design points behind the new framework.

Contents

Principle 1: Focus on Precision, Accuracy, and Robustness

Perhaps this should go without saying. You are building production grade software here and we have a production grade framework to match. The first principle and underlying goal is that the performance measurement is as precise and accurate as possible.

This means, for example, that we include features such as "warming up" the code by executing the code first a few times so that initialization effects don't negatively impact the measurement. This allows a better idea of the typical execution time of the code. Features exist to measure the first time performance as well. Also, the measurement boundary is as tightly scoped as possible in order to just measure the relevant code. For example look at the following simple performance test:

function tests = MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest
tests = functiontests(localfunctions);  

function setup(~)
% Do something that takes half a second.
pause(.5);

function testCreatingMagicSquare(~)
% Measure the performance of creating a large(ish) magic square.
magic(1000);

Here I have added a pause to ensure that the TestMethodSetup takes much longer than the code we'd like to measure. However, we can see when we measure its execution time with runperf that this content is not included in the measurement:

measResult = runperf('MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest');
samples = measResult.Samples
Running MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest
........
Done MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest
__________


samples = 

                           Name                           MeasuredTime         Timestamp              Host         Platform           Version                      RunIdentifier            
    __________________________________________________    ____________    ____________________    _____________    ________    _____________________    ____________________________________

    MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050525       06-May-2016 17:31:56    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b96e12cd-18cf-4f1f-a03e-a0e4e7da8f2d
    MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0048567       06-May-2016 17:31:56    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b96e12cd-18cf-4f1f-a03e-a0e4e7da8f2d
    MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050932       06-May-2016 17:31:57    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b96e12cd-18cf-4f1f-a03e-a0e4e7da8f2d
    MyFirstMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0047803       06-May-2016 17:31:57    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b96e12cd-18cf-4f1f-a03e-a0e4e7da8f2d

You can see we ran the test multiple times and each time stayed true to running the test correctly by running the code in setup to provide the fresh fixture. However, you'll notice the half second is not included in the measurement. This is because there is a specific measurement boundary. In functions and scripts this boundary is simply the test boundary (test function or test cell). In classes this boundary is the test method boundary by default but can also be directly specified. This is useful for the following test, which poses a problem:

classdef MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest < matlab.perftest.TestCase

    methods(Test)
        function testCreatingMagicSquare(~)
        
            % What about some work I need to do in this method?
            pause(0.5);
            
            % Measure the performance of creating a large(ish) magic square.
            magic(1000);
        end
    end
end

measResult = runperf('MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest');
samples = measResult.Samples
Running MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest
........
Done MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest
__________


samples = 

                           Name                            MeasuredTime         Timestamp              Host         Platform           Version                      RunIdentifier            
    ___________________________________________________    ____________    ____________________    _____________    ________    _____________________    ____________________________________

    MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.50935         06-May-2016 17:32:00    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    99746631-7a34-482b-86b7-94e914ae2649
    MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.50829         06-May-2016 17:32:00    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    99746631-7a34-482b-86b7-94e914ae2649
    MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.50571         06-May-2016 17:32:01    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    99746631-7a34-482b-86b7-94e914ae2649
    MySecondMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.5083         06-May-2016 17:32:01    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    99746631-7a34-482b-86b7-94e914ae2649

Unfortunately you can see the method boundary includes some extra work and this prevents us from gathering our intended measurement. Never fear however, we've got ya taken care of. In this case you can specifically scope your measurement boundary to exactly the code you'd like to measure in the test method by using the startMeasuring and stopMeasuring methods to explicitly define your boundary:

classdef MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest < matlab.perftest.TestCase

    methods(Test)
        function testCreatingMagicSquare(testCase)
        
            % What about some work I need to do in this method?
            pause(0.5);
            
            % Measure the performance of creating a large(ish) magic square.
            testCase.startMeasuring;
            magic(1000);
            testCase.stopMeasuring;
        end
    end
end

measResult = runperf('MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest');
samples = measResult.Samples
Running MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest
..........
..........
..........
..
Done MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest
__________


samples = 

                           Name                           MeasuredTime         Timestamp              Host         Platform           Version                      RunIdentifier            
    __________________________________________________    ____________    ____________________    _____________    ________    _____________________    ____________________________________

    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.005019       06-May-2016 17:32:04    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0091478       06-May-2016 17:32:05    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051195       06-May-2016 17:32:05    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0049833       06-May-2016 17:32:06    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050415       06-May-2016 17:32:06    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050852       06-May-2016 17:32:07    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050112       06-May-2016 17:32:07    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051059       06-May-2016 17:32:08    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0048692       06-May-2016 17:32:08    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051603       06-May-2016 17:32:09    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.004889       06-May-2016 17:32:10    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.004917       06-May-2016 17:32:10    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0052781       06-May-2016 17:32:11    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0049215       06-May-2016 17:32:11    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0049284       06-May-2016 17:32:12    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0048642       06-May-2016 17:32:12    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050289       06-May-2016 17:32:13    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0048802       06-May-2016 17:32:13    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.005147       06-May-2016 17:32:14    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050095       06-May-2016 17:32:14    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare     0.005138       06-May-2016 17:32:15    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050985       06-May-2016 17:32:15    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051649       06-May-2016 17:32:16    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0050265       06-May-2016 17:32:16    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0048852       06-May-2016 17:32:17    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051176       06-May-2016 17:32:17    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0049506       06-May-2016 17:32:18    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8
    MyThirdMagicSquarePerfTest/testCreatingMagicSquare    0.0051294       06-May-2016 17:32:18    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    7f8e4608-c8f6-4444-a4b5-4a4c8b2139e8

Voila! Boundary scoped appropriately.

However, even with the proper tight measurement scoping there still is some overhead of the framework such as function call overhead and other overhead involved in actually executing the code and taking the measurement. This is where another feature of the framework comes in. The framework calibrates (or "tares" if you want to think of it that way) the measurement by actually measuring an empty test. This gives us a concrete measurement of the overhead involved and this overhead benefits us in two ways. Firstly, we can actually subtract off the measurement overhead to get a more accurate result. Secondly, this calibration measurement gives us an idea of the framework precision, allowing us to alert you to the fact that you are trying to measure something within the framework precision and that you shouldn't trust the results. While this may seem limiting when encountered, it actually is an important feature that prevents you from interpreting the result incorrectly. For example, let's look at a performance test you should never implement:

classdef BadPerfTest < matlab.perftest.TestCase

    methods(Test)
        function pleaseDoNotTryToMeasureOnePlusOne(~)
            % One plus one is too fast to measure. Rather than giving you a
            % bunk result we will alert you and the result will be invalid.
            1+1;
        end
    end
end

measResult = runperf('BadPerfTest');
samples = measResult.Samples
Running BadPerfTest
..
================================================================================
BadPerfTest/pleaseDoNotTryToMeasureOnePlusOne was filtered.
    Test Diagnostic: The MeasuredTime should not be too close to the precision of the framework.
================================================================================

Done BadPerfTest
__________

Failure Summary:

     Name                                           Failed  Incomplete  Reason(s)
    ============================================================================================
     BadPerfTest/pleaseDoNotTryToMeasureOnePlusOne              X       Filtered by assumption.
    

samples = 

   empty 0-by-7 table

We don't even let you run it. The result you get back is invalid. To see what we would be trying to measure we have to do this manually with the poor man's version:

results = zeros(1,1e6);
for idx=1:1e6
    t = tic;
    1+1;
    results(idx) = toc(t);
end
ax = axes;
plot(ax, results)
ax.YLim(2) = 3*std(results); % Cap the y limit to 3 standard deviations

title(ax, 'The Garbage Results When Trying to Measure 1+1');
ylabel(ax, 'Execution time up to 3 standard deviations.');

Garbage. Noise. Not what you want the framework to hand back, so we don't. We recognize a low confidence result and we let you know.

Principle 2: A Performance Test is a Test

The next principle is that a performance test is simply a test. It is a test that uses the familiar script, function, and class based testing APIs, and as such can be run as normal tests to validate that the software is not broken. However, the same test content can also be run differently in order to measure the performance of the measured code. The behavior is driven by how it is run, not what is in the test!

If you have already used the unit test framework, there is remarkably little you need to learn when diving into performance testing! Please use the extra mental energy toward putting mankind on mars or something amazing like that.

This also means that your performance tests can be checked into your CI system and will fail the build if a change somehow breaks the performance tests.

Look, here's the deal, I can make all my code go really fast if it doesn't have to do the right thing. To prevent this, we can put a spot check in to ensure the software is not only fast but also correct. Let's see this in action with another magic square test:

classdef MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest < matlab.perftest.TestCase
    
   
    methods(Test)
        function createMagicSquare(testCase)
            import matlab.unittest.constraints.IsEqualTo;
            import matlab.unittest.constraints.EveryElementOf;
            
            testCase.startMeasuring;
            m = magic(100);
            testCase.stopMeasuring;
            
            columnSum = sum(m);
            rowSum = sum(m,2);
            
            testCase.verifyThat(EveryElementOf(columnSum), IsEqualTo(columnSum(1)), ...
                'All the values of column sum should be equal.'); 
            testCase.verifyThat(rowSum, IsEqualTo(columnSum), ...
                'The column sum should equal the transpose of the row sum.'); 
        end
    end
    
end

Now let's run it using runtests instead of runperf :

result = runtests('MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest')
Running MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest

================================================================================
Verification failed in MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare.

    ----------------
    Test Diagnostic:
    ----------------
    The column sum should equal the transpose of the row sum.

    ---------------------
    Framework Diagnostic:
    ---------------------
    IsEqualTo failed.
    --> NumericComparator failed.
        --> Size check failed.
            --> Sizes do not match.
                
                Actual size:
                       100     1
                Expected size:
                         1   100
    
    Actual double:
        100x1 double
    Expected double:
        1x100 double

    ------------------
    Stack Information:
    ------------------
    In /mathworks/inside/files/dev/tools/tia/mdd/performancePrinciples/MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest.m (MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest.createMagicSquare) at 18
================================================================================
.
Done MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest
__________

Failure Summary:

     Name                                           Failed  Incomplete  Reason(s)
    ============================================================================================
     MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    X                 Failed by verification.
    

result = 

  TestResult with properties:

          Name: 'MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare'
        Passed: 0
        Failed: 1
    Incomplete: 0
      Duration: 0.0238
       Details: [1x1 struct]

Totals:
   0 Passed, 1 Failed, 0 Incomplete.
   0.023783 seconds testing time.

Look at that, we can run the performance test like a functional regressions test and it fails! In this case the problem is that we should be verifying that the row sum is the transpose of the column sum but the test is comparing them directly. Here the test itself is the source of the problem not the code under test, but bugs in source code would fail it just the same.

Principle 3: Report Don't Qualify

With the example above we ran this test using runtests to ensure it was correct. Note, that the result was indeed binary. The test fails or passes. In this case it failed and you can throw that back to where it came from and fix it. However, when measuring performance we don't have such luxury. When observing performance we are running an experiment and gathering a measurement and we need some interpretation of the results to determine whether it is good or bad. Often times this interpretation is only possible in some context, such as whether the code was faster or slower than last check-in, or last month. This difference in how the results are to be interpreted affects the resulting output data structure. Let's take a look using the same buggy test but running it as a performance test instead:

measResult = runperf('MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest')
Running MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest

================================================================================
Verification failed in MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare.

    ----------------
    Test Diagnostic:
    ----------------
    The column sum should equal the transpose of the row sum.

    ---------------------
    Framework Diagnostic:
    ---------------------
    IsEqualTo failed.
    --> NumericComparator failed.
        --> Size check failed.
            --> Sizes do not match.
                
                Actual size:
                       100     1
                Expected size:
                         1   100
    
    Actual double:
        100x1 double
    Expected double:
        1x100 double

    ------------------
    Stack Information:
    ------------------
    In /mathworks/inside/files/dev/tools/tia/mdd/performancePrinciples/MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest.m (MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest.createMagicSquare) at 18
================================================================================
.
================================================================================
MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare was filtered.
    Test Diagnostic: The MeasuredTime should not be too close to the precision of the framework.
================================================================================

Done MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest
__________

Failure Summary:

     Name                                           Failed  Incomplete  Reason(s)
    ============================================================================================
     MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    X         X       Filtered by assumption.
                                                                        Failed by verification.
    

measResult = 

  MeasurementResult with properties:

            Name: 'MyFourthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare'
           Valid: 0
         Samples: [0x7 table]
    TestActivity: [1x12 table]

Totals:
   0 Valid, 1 Invalid.

Note the absence of a Passed/Failed bit on the resulting data structure. Even for this test which is clearly problematic, we are in the context of performance testing and the focus is on measurement and reporting rather than qualification. What we do say is whether the measurement result is Valid or not. The valid property is simply a logical property that specifies whether you even want to begin analyzing the measurement results. The test failed? Invalid. The test was filtered? Invalid. In order to be valid the test needs to complete and pass. That is the deterministic state that we can trust provides us with the correct performance measurement.

Let's fix the bug and look a bit more:

classdef MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest < matlab.perftest.TestCase
    
   
    methods(Test)
        function createMagicSquare(testCase)
            import matlab.unittest.constraints.IsEqualTo;
            import matlab.unittest.constraints.EveryElementOf;
            
            testCase.startMeasuring;
            m = magic(1000);
            testCase.stopMeasuring;
            
            columnSum = sum(m);
            rowSum = sum(m,2);
            
            testCase.verifyThat(EveryElementOf(columnSum), IsEqualTo(columnSum(1)), ...
                'All the values of column sum should be equal.'); 
            testCase.verifyThat(rowSum, IsEqualTo(columnSum.'), ...
                'The column sum should equal the transpose of the row sum.'); 
        end
    end
    
end

measResult = runperf('MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest')
Running MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest
........
Done MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest
__________


measResult = 

  MeasurementResult with properties:

            Name: 'MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare'
           Valid: 1
         Samples: [4x7 table]
    TestActivity: [8x12 table]

Totals:
   1 Valid, 0 Invalid.

Alright, we have a valid result. Now we can look at the Samples to see that everything is working normally:

measResult.Samples
ans = 

                        Name                        MeasuredTime         Timestamp              Host         Platform           Version                      RunIdentifier            
    ____________________________________________    ____________    ____________________    _____________    ________    _____________________    ____________________________________

    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    0.0049167       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    0.0049236       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    0.0049038       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare     0.004911       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b

...and now we can apply whatever statistic we are interested in on the resulting data:

median(measResult.Samples.MeasuredTime)
ans =

    0.0049

Note that you can also see all of the information, including the warmup runs and the actual TestResult data by looking at the TestActivity table.

measResult.TestActivity
ans = 

                        Name                        Passed    Failed    Incomplete    MeasuredTime    Objective         Timestamp              Host         Platform           Version                      TestResult                          RunIdentifier            
    ____________________________________________    ______    ______    __________    ____________    _________    ____________________    _____________    ________    _____________________    ________________________________    ____________________________________

    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0048825       warmup       06-May-2016 17:32:20    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0050761       warmup       06-May-2016 17:32:20    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0049342       warmup       06-May-2016 17:32:20    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0050149       warmup       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0049167       sample       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0049236       sample       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false         0.0049038       sample       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b
    MyFifthMagicSquarePerfTest/createMagicSquare    true      false     false          0.004911       sample       06-May-2016 17:32:21    MyMachineName    maci64      9.0.0.341360 (R2016a)    [1x1 matlab.unittest.TestResult]    b7b651ff-1c19-40a4-b323-e5afd9b0d77b

Principle 4: Multiple Observations

If you've made it this far I think you can already see that each test is run multiple times and multiple measurements were taken. Actually, a key piece of the technology that enabled the performance framework was extending the underlying test framework to support running each test repeatedly.

Repeated measurements are important of course because we are taking measurements in the presence of noise, and it follows that we need to measure a representative sample in order to arrive at the distribution and/or a reasonable deduction as to the performance of the code. The principle here is that we measure multiple executions and provide you with the data you need to analyze the behavior. Whether you use classical statistical measures, Bayesian approaches, or something else, the resulting data set is at your command.

Your principles

So that's a solid overview of the principles and philosophies of the new MATLAB performance framework. Do you have any other principles you have encountered when measuring the performance of your code?




Published with MATLAB® R2016a

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