Issue #14794 has been updated by ahorek (Pavel Rosick).

File clipboard-202112111356-0rasx.png added

thanks for your interest @mame!

btw I found a bug in pypy which leads to a slow performance in this benchmark which is now fixed

> performs an experiment with some real-world applications like Rails

based on experiments on TruffleRuby we can say it won't help much for Rails. Unfortunately, the bottleneck in Rails is mostly bound by IO and hash performance.

but it could significantly help in other computational heavy areas like image processing, parsers, matrix multiplication...

> I guess what you want is like pandas.Series

the same performance could be achievable by a C extension or a specialized type like Numo::Int32, but these are just performance hacks. What I'm proposing is that the language should determine, that an array [1,2,3] contains integers only, so it should be stored using raw memory of long* instead of objects which reference the actual value.
![](clipboard-202112111356-0rasx.png)

> such an optimization will reduce GC time

sure. It'll also reduce memory consumption & cache locality.


knowing the type has other advantages. For instance, the original example with Array#max is hard to optimize by the compiler
```
for (i = 0; i < RARRAY_LEN(ary); i++) {
       v = RARRAY_AREF(ary, i); // we need to dereference the value
       if (result == Qundef || OPTIMIZED_CMP(v, result, cmp_opt) > 0) {
           result = v;
       }
}

// a bunch of type checks for each iteration
#define OPTIMIZED_CMP(a, b, data) \
    ((FIXNUM_P(a) && FIXNUM_P(b) && CMP_OPTIMIZABLE(data, Integer)) ? \
     (((long)a > (long)b) ? 1 : ((long)a < (long)b) ? -1 : 0) : \
     (STRING_P(a) && STRING_P(b) && CMP_OPTIMIZABLE(data, String)) ? \
     rb_str_cmp(a, b) : \
     (RB_FLOAT_TYPE_P(a) && RB_FLOAT_TYPE_P(b) && CMP_OPTIMIZABLE(data, Float)) ? \
     rb_float_cmp(a, b) : \
     rb_cmpint(rb_funcallv(a, id_cmp, 1, &b), a, b))
```

@mrkn did an optimization, but they're even more type checks which make the code complicated
https://github.com/ruby/ruby/pull/3325/files

```
case array_shape
when Integers
  for (i = 0; i < RARRAY_LEN(ary); i++) {
    if ((long)vmax < (long)v) {
        vmax = v;
    }
    return vmax;
  }
end
```
this pattern is very well known and easily optimizable, because there're no type checks for each element anymore. There's also a high chance these values will be prefetched or read from a cache.
https://godbolt.org/z/jeEa8roPn

it's applicable to most array methods, but Array#max is simple to explain.

> However, it may introduce additional overhead when degenerating to the current VALUE*representation occurs frequently
you're right, there're bad scenarios that could actually lead to a slower performance
array = [1,2,3] -> Integer array
array << "string" -> Object array (needs reallocation of the whole array instead of just putting a new element)

there're ways how to overcome this, but it's the hardest part to implement without a serious performance impact. It's a corner case that should still work, but it isn't very common. Most arrays aren't changing shapes at runtime like this.

besides https://github.com/oracle/truffleruby and https://www.pypy.org which have the optimization implemented, there's also an old pull request about the same idea https://github.com/topazproject/topaz/pull/555 (topaz is a dead project today)

the idea itself isn't hard to understand. I'm not as good in C to implement it to CRuby, but I'll gladly help if someone comes with initial implementation.

----------------------------------------
Feature #14794: Primitive arrays (Ruby 3x3)
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/14794#change-95289

* Author: ahorek (Pavel Rosick)
* Status: Feedback
* Priority: Normal
----------------------------------------
dynamic arrays in ruby can contain various object types:
```ruby
[1, 1.0, 'text', Object.new]
```

however if I create a primitive array, let say only with integers (very common case). It should be more efficient.
```ruby
[1, 2, 3]
```

let me show you an example. I have an array and I want to find a maximum. I can use a native method(:max) or a naive pure ruby implementation.
I expect that the native function will always be much faster because it”Ēs written in C right?

```ruby
require 'benchmark/ips'
arr_int = Array.new(50000) { rand 10000 }

def max_ruby(arr)
  max = arr[0]
  size = arr.size
  i = 1
  while i < size
    if arr[i] > max
      max = arr[i]
    end
    i += 1
  end
  max
end

benchmark.ips do |x|
  x.report('native') { arr_int.max }
  x.report('pure')   { max_ruby(arr_int) }
  x.compare!
end
```

here's a comparsion chart of different ruby & python's runtimes (lower is better)
![](https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ahorek/ruby/7976ede8c27291d50abadcd99835c0f3dae98a44/obrazek.png)


as expected on ruby 2.6, the native function was faster.

Let”Ēs compare it if we use a JIT
native  no difference
pure ruby  sometimes even faster than native

It's because JIT can't do anything with native functions (inlining, type checks etc.). Native fuctions should be as fast as possible.

MRI implementation of rb_ary_max
https://github.com/ruby/ruby/blob/trunk/array.c#L4335
```c
for (i = 0; i < RARRAY_LEN(ary); i++) {
	   v = RARRAY_AREF(ary, i);
	   if (result == Qundef || OPTIMIZED_CMP(v, result, cmp_opt) > 0) {
	       result = v;
	   }
}
```

this is great for mixed arrays, but for primitive arrays it's quite ineffective. C compiler can't optimize it.
1/ unbox it if possible, don't dereference objects and load it in chunks
2/ if <=> is not redefined, we can use a simplier algorithm
3/ it”Ēs a trivial example that can be written in SIMD #14328, there's even a special instruction for it https://software.intel.com/en-us/node/524201
C compiler can do it for us, but this metod it too complex for auto-vectorization and the data type isn't known during compile time.

Array max is just an example, but the same strategy could be applied for many other methods.

I found a great article about it, check it out.
## http://tratt.net/laurie/research/pubs/html/bolz_diekmann_tratt__storage_strategies_for_collections_in_dynamically_typed_languages/

I think this feature could speed-up real ruby applications significantly and it shouldn”Ēt be very hard to implement. We also don't have to change ruby syntax, define types etc. No compatibility issues.

---Files--------------------------------
clipboard-202112111356-0rasx.png (17.8 KB)


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