Bugs item #1940, was opened at 2005-05-22 00:15
You can respond by visiting: 
http://rubyforge.org/tracker/?func=detail&atid=1698&aid=1940&group_id=426

Category: Core
Group: None
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Priority: 3
Submitted By: Murphy (Kornelius Kalnbach) (murphy)
Assigned to: Nobody (None)
Summary: Fixnum#** slower than Bignum#**

Initial Comment:
(original text by Wolfgang NĂ¡dasi-Donner)
The German Ruby forum (http://rubyforen.de) recognized a strange behaviour of the Fixnum class.

In exponentation, Fixnum is much slower than Bignum, which lets us assume that some kind of a problem is
in the implementation.

Example:

>>>>> Code (Ruby) >>>>>

require 'benchmark'

N = 10**6
B = 65891264863465298234965902602612457060348499377
F = 4628

Benchmark.bmbm(10) do |bm|
    bm.report('Bignum') do N.times do
        B ** 0.5
    end end

    bm.report('Fixnum') do N.times do
        F ** 0.5
    end end
end

>>>>> Result >>>>>
                user     system      total        real

Bignum      3.856000   0.000000   3.856000 (  3.946000)
Fixnum      7.861000   0.020000   7.881000 (  8.081000)

>>>>> End of Example >>>>>

Further investigations lead to the responsible C code:

>>>>> Code (C) >>>>>

// in numeric.c
static VALUE
fix_pow(x, y)
    VALUE x, y;
{
    if (FIXNUM_P(y)) {
        long a, b;

        b = FIX2LONG(y);
        if (b == 0) return INT2FIX(1);
        if (b == 1) return x;
        a = FIX2LONG(x);
        if (b > 0) {
            return rb_big_pow(rb_int2big(a), y);
        }
        return rb_float_new(pow((double)a, (double)b));
    }
    return rb_num_coerce_bin(x, y);  // <-- this take a lot of time
}

// ...versus...

// in bignum.c
VALUE
rb_big_pow(x, y)
    VALUE x, y;
{
    double d;
    long yy;

    if (y == INT2FIX(0)) return INT2FIX(1);
    switch (TYPE(y)) {
      case T_FLOAT:  // <-- this is fast
        d = RFLOAT(y)->value;
        break;

      case T_BIGNUM:
        ...

      case T_FIXNUM:
        ...

      default:
        return rb_num_coerce_bin(x, y);
    }
    return rb_float_new(pow(rb_big2dbl(x), d));
}

>>>>> End of Code >>>>>

If it's a feature, maybe someone can explain.
If it's a bug, maybe someone can fix ;)

German readers may be interested in the original thread: http://www.rubyforen.de/topic,749.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------

You can respond by visiting: 
http://rubyforge.org/tracker/?func=detail&atid=1698&aid=1940&group_id=426