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st: RE: What is a 200% improvement?


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: What is a 200% improvement?
Date   Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:43:32 -0000

Vince Wiggins wrote this on 11 April, which applies,
I guess.

========== begin convincing answer

> Funny how Stata describes the update: "graphs are 100% faster".  Do
> they come out infinitely fast now? :-)

Fair enough.  We puzzled over whether to say 50% faster, as in the
sale
price is 50% of the regular price, or 100% faster, as in a car that
can
cover twice the distance in the same time is 100% faster.  We went
with
the latter, though there is at least one person down the hall from me
who think 50% was better.

To be fair (but where's the fun in that), in -help whatsnew-, we
immediately defined what we meant by 100% faster,

        Graphics are now approximately 100% faster -- they run in
about
half
        the time.

We considered "twice as fast", and that seemed less equivocal to some,
though to my mind it raises the same issues.

In the end, most of us preferred the very computerish definition of
speed -- instructions per second (or graphs per fortnight if you
prefer).  That means you need to consider the reciprocal of run-times.
This measure has the nice meaning that at a 100% speedup you can draw
twice as many (100% more) graphs in the same amount of time.

========= end invincible answer

Ronan M Conroy

> I read in the Stata News that Stata 8.2 offers a 200% speed
> improvement in
> -gllamm-. Does that mean it's twice as fast?


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