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[CLJ-1384] clojure.core/set should use transients Created: 15/Mar/14  Updated: 29/Aug/14  Resolved: 29/Aug/14

Status: Closed
Project: Clojure
Component/s: None
Affects Version/s: Release 1.5, Release 1.6
Fix Version/s: Release 1.7

Type: Enhancement Priority: Major
Reporter: Gary Fredericks Assignee: Unassigned
Resolution: Completed Votes: 4
Labels: performance

Attachments: Text File CLJ-1384-p1.patch     Text File CLJ-1384-p2.patch     File set-bench.tar    
Patch: Code
Approval: Ok


CLJ-1384-p2 uses transients for both create and createWithCheck. This is consistent with the current implementation for map.

clojure.core/vec calls (more or less) PersistentVector.create(...), which uses a transient vector to build up the result.

clojure.core/set on the other hand, calls PersistentHashSet.create(...), which repeatedly calls .cons on a PersistentHashSet, with all the associated speed/GC issues.

Operation count now w/transients
set 5 1.771924 µs 1.295637 µs
into 5 1.407925 µs 1.402995 µs
set 1000000 2.499264 s 1.196653 s
into 1000000 0.977555 s 1.006951 s

Patch: CLJ-1384-p2.patch
Screened by: Stu

Comment by Gary Fredericks [ 15/Mar/14 10:13 PM ]

PersistentHashSet has six methods for creating sets – one for each combination of {with check, without check} and {array (varargs), List, ISeq}. Each of them does not use transients but could.

I believe clojure.core/set only depends on the (without check, ISeq) version.

Should all of these be changed? Three of them? One of them?

Comment by Andy Fingerhut [ 15/Mar/14 10:21 PM ]

I believe that the 'with check' versions are only intended to be used when reading set literals in Clojure source code, and give an error if there are duplicate elements. If you find examples where those set creation functions are called in other situations, I would be interested to learn about them to find out where my misunderstanding lies, or whether that is a problem with the current code.

If the belief above is correct, I would suggest not changing the 'with check' versions, since their speed isn't as critical.

Comment by Gary Fredericks [ 15/Mar/14 10:23 PM ]

Thanks Andy, I'll submit a patch that changes the three non-checked methods.

Comment by Gary Fredericks [ 15/Mar/14 10:46 PM ]

Attached CLJ-1384-p1.patch, which updates the three non-check create methods.

I also added benchmarks. It's about 2-3 times faster for large collections.

Comment by Ambrose Bonnaire-Sergeant [ 11/Apr/14 11:15 AM ]

Added benchmark suite (set-bench.tar).

FWIW results are similar to gfrederick's on my machine:

Clojure 1.6

Small collections (5 elements)

set averages 1.220601 µs
into averages 1.597991 µs

Large collections (1,000,000 elements)

set averages 2.429066 sec
into averages 1.006249 sec

After transients

Small collections (5 elements)

set averages 999.248325 ns
into averages 1.162889 µs

Large collections (1,000,000 elements)

set averages 1.003792 sec
into averages 889.993185 ms

Add full output to the tar.

Comment by Ghadi Shayban [ 11/Apr/14 11:35 AM ]

CLJ-1192 is related to this, but and Andy seems to be indicating the use of reduce as the means to better performance there.

Comment by Gary Fredericks [ 11/Apr/14 11:41 AM ]

Oh that's a good point about reduce. The difference should only apply to chunked seqs, right? It's worth noting that the benchmarks above used range which creates chunked seqs, so that might be why into looks faster on the large collections?

So this change only makes set act like vec; I think whether either/both of them should use reduce is a different question.

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