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From |
Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> |

To |
"statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
Re: st: efficient programming in mata - "meanby()" example |

Date |
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:21:06 -0500 |

Andrew, 1) no, not with standard types; if you accept that a long string is just a continuous area of memory, and ready to program matrix manipulation yourself, then yes; 2) From the manual: "quadcross() returns a double-precision result just as does cross(). The difference is that quadcross() uses quad precision internally in calculating sums." It is not clear how whether any alternative storage is available. Likely you have to simulate higher precision by defining your own type (basically handling the Hi-byte and Lo-byte separately, to simulate an int) and operations to it (add,subtract,multiply, divide). Standard functions will not be able to understand your type, so you will have to redefine them as well (both to consume arguments, and to return result in your type). This is not the way for most applications, imho. However, I am strongly convinced that there must be a type in Mata to hold 64-bit integers (we have Stata 64-bit after all). Some data just doesn't fit into long, and can't be stored in double: . di %26.0f 9223372036854775807 9223372036854775800 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9223372036854775807 Stata 13 itself is using this type in writing the specification-117 datasets, see section 5.2. So my -use13- follows the strategy I suggest in #2 (define necessary operations yourself) to read these files. http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?dta#map http://radyakin.org/transfer/use13/use13.htm 3) A while ago I have written ftabstat2 (32/64-bit for Windows). It's a plugin that computes a number of stats on a number of matrices with a focus on performance. It is the core of the ADePT program: http://www.worldbank.org/adept It allows getting a number of stats (means, totals, proportions) and conveniently leaves the results in matrices. It is custom made for ADePT, so not available as a standalone command, but if the project is worth it, perhaps it could be possible to isolate the necessary files (we are talking April here, not sooner). 4) J(0,0,.) see this thread and the answer by Kit Baum: http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2014-01/msg00221.html Or you can branch with an if if (i==1) { x=y // x is only in the LHS here } else { x=x,y } Best, Sergiy Radyakin On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM, Andrew Maurer <Andrew.Maurer@qrm.com> wrote: > Hi Statalist, > > I have a few additional questions about efficient programming in mata and wonder if anyone has any insight: > > 1) > Can the storage type of a real matrix be changed in the same way as the storage type of a Stata variable? (byte/int/long/etc). Eg) if I have a mata matrix that contains only 1s and 0s, I wouldn't want to waste memory having it stored in memory as a "float matrix" rather than a "byte matrix". > > 2) > How can I change the precision with which basic math functions are conducted (addition, multiplication, etc)? Eg, -help mata quadcross- says "sums are formed in quad precision rather than in double precision". I can't see the source for quadcross so I can't determine how this is programmed. > > 3) > Back to efficiency in my meanby() function, I want to try to add the option of having weights without slowing down the function when weights are not specified. In my new code at the bottom of this post, with the option for weights, the program is significantly slowed down due to having to access a filler weight matrix of 1s if weights aren't specified. Efficiency would be easy in stata syntax, > `by' gen `ty' `y' = sum(`w'*`x')/sum(cond(`x'<.,`w',0)) > where `w' can come from a local = 1 if weights were not specified or a whole temp variable of weights if weights were specified. However, since mata doesn't have a conception of locals, this isn't possible in mata. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could alter my meanby() syntax to not slow down when weights are specified ? The only efficient way I can think of would be to define two separate functions, meanby_noweights() and meanby_weights, and choose which one to call based on whether weights were specified. > > 4) > One last aside on style - is there a more elegant way to construct the "out" matrix in meanby()? I've run into this problem when programming in Stata as well. I want to loop and append a row to the matrix on each iteration. However, on the first iteration, where I define "out = out \ (previd, runsum/count)", out has to already exist. So before the loop, I have to define out = (., .) and after the loop remove this "filler row". This doesn't seem like good programming style, but I don't know of an alternative. > > > ***** define meanby() function ******** > mata > real matrix meanby(idname, xname, touse, |weight) > { > // sort data in stata > stata("sort " + idname) > > // load data into mata > st_view(id=0, ., idname, touse) > st_view(data=0, ., xname, touse) > if (args() == 3) aw = J(rows(data),1,1) > else { > st_view(aw=0, ., weight, touse) > aw = aw :* (aw :> 0) > } > > // initialize mata objects > real matrix out > real scalar idnum, val, previd, count, runsum > runsum = 0 > count = 0 > previd = id[1,.] > numx = cols(data) > out = J(1, cols(id)+cols(data), .) > > // loop through observations > for (i=1; i<=rows(data); i++) { > idnum = id[i,.] > val = data[i,.] > weight = aw[i,1] > if (idnum != previd) { > out = out \ (previd, runsum/count) > count = 0 > runsum = J(1,numx,0) > } > count = count + weight > runsum = runsum :+ val*weight > previd = idnum > } > > // final row > out = out \ (previd, runsum/count) > > // output (exclude "filler" first row) > return(out[|(2,1)\(rows(out),cols(out))|]) > } > end > ***** end meanby() definition ********* > > > Thank you, > Andrew Maurer > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu [mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Sergiy Radyakin > Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 12:12 PM > To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu > Subject: Re: st: efficient programming in mata - "meanby()" example > > Andrew, are you using MP2? > Try to set processors 1 before running the benchmark to equal the field. Stata wouldn't let you write parallel code in Mata, although it is using parallelization in its own built-ins. After setting processors to 1, your code is not that bad (in 12.0): > > . timer list 1 > 1: 8.33 / 1 = 8.3290 > . timer list 2 > 2: 7.60 / 1 = 7.6000 > > There are probably ways to make it faster, but because of the lack of parallelization in Mata there is no point to compete with true built-in C code. > > Note also that plugins will not be a solution. Plugin interface is not afaik thread-safe. > > Hope this helps, Sergiy > > > On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM, Andrew Maurer <Andrew.Maurer@qrm.com> wrote: >> Hi Statalist, >> >> I'm trying to get an idea of how to program in mata as efficiently as possible. I'm starting by trying to code a program in mata that calculates means-by-groups and runs at least as quickly as stata's "collapse (mean)..., by()" function. My objective at the moment is to learn more about programming technique as opposed to creating something new. >> >> I've whittled down my code to what's shown in the meanby() function below. The idea is to: >> 1) Sort data by panel variable(s) >> 2) Loop through observations, keep a running sum of the "x" variable and of the count of nonmissing x values >> 3) Whenever a new panel is reached, write the previous panel's >> average to an "out" object and reset the running sums >> >> My version below takes 9 seconds, while Stata's collapse takes 5 seconds with the example data shown. Does anyone have any feedback on how I could improve my code or insight as to what's going on at a low level in Stata's "by... : gen..." syntax that makes it more efficient than the loop I've written? >> >> Thank you, >> Andrew Maurer >> >> ******* excerpt from Stata's "collapse" for comparison ************** >> `by' gen `ty' `y' = sum(`w'*`x')/sum(cond(`x'<.,`w',0)) >> `by' replace `y' = `y'[_N] >> sort `by' >> quietly by `by': keep if _n==_N >> ******* end Sata excerpt ******************************************** >> >> >> ***** define meanby() function ******** mata >> >> real matrix meanby(idname, xname) >> { >> // sort data in stata >> stata("sort " + idname) >> >> // load data into mata >> st_view(id=0, ., idname) >> st_view(data=0, ., xname) >> >> // initialize mata objects >> real matrix out >> real scalar idnum, val, previd, count, runsum >> runsum = 0 >> count = 0 >> previd = id[1,.] >> out = J(1, cols(id)+1, .) >> >> // loop through observations >> for (i=1; i<=rows(data); i++) { >> idnum = id[i,.] >> val = data[i,1] >> if (idnum != previd) { >> out = out \ (previd, runsum/count) >> count = 0 >> runsum = 0 >> } >> if (val != .) { >> count = count + 1 >> runsum = runsum + val >> } >> previd = idnum >> } >> >> // final row >> out = out \ (previd, runsum/count) >> >> // output (exclude "filler" first row) >> return(out[|(2,1)\(rows(out),2)|]) >> } >> >> end >> ***** end meanby() definition ********* >> >> >> ***** benchmark meanby vs stata collapse ***** // create some panel >> data // 30 panels, 100 dates long clear all local n 10000000 set obs >> `n' >> gen byte panelid = int( 30/`n' * (_n-1) ) gen int date = mod(_n,100) >> gen x = runiform() >> >> sort panelid date >> >> // time meanby() using same data >> timer on 1 >> qui mata: meanby("panelid date","x") timer off 1 timer list 1 >> >> // time Stata's collapse >> timer on 2 >> collapse (mean) x, by(panelid date) >> timer off 2 >> timer list 2 >> ***** end benchmark ************************** >> >> >> * >> * For searches and help try: >> * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search >> * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ >> * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ > > * > * For searches and help try: > * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ > > > > * > * For searches and help try: > * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**References**:**st: efficient programming in mata - "meanby()" example***From:*Andrew Maurer <Andrew.Maurer@qrm.com>

**Re: st: efficient programming in mata - "meanby()" example***From:*Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com>

**RE: st: efficient programming in mata - "meanby()" example***From:*Andrew Maurer <Andrew.Maurer@qrm.com>

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