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Compiled Code in Euler

This is a short introduction into compiled C code in Euler. Compiled code can be 5-50 times faster than Euler code. If you have existing C code, you may find it easy to implement this code for Euler.

Euler can load DLL (dynamic link library) files, and call the functions exported in these libraries. These libraries must be Windows DLLs from any compiler that can bind to a library. Some initialization is required, and the functions have a little overhead. To make this easy, Euler comes with tccompile, the Tiny C Compiler. See the documentation about more details on this compiler.


Arithmetic Geometric Mean

Since this introduction is usually in a non-writable directory, we switch the current directory to the Euler directory in the home directory of the user.


A good example is a function, which needs a longer, but trivial computation to get the result. We implement the arithmetic geometric mean. The is is the limit of the sequence

20 - Compiled Code in Euler

The function has the flag "tinyc". The number of parameters is read from the header as usual. But the types of the parameters must be declared in the function body too. The result is returned by creating a new real on the Euler stack.

>function tinyc agm (a, b) ...
 CHECK(a>0 && b>0,"Need positive real numbers.");
 double a1,b1;
 while (1)
   a1=(a+b)/2; b1=sqrt(a*b);
   if (fabs(a1-b1)/a1<1e-14) break;
   a=a1; b=b1;
   if (test_key()) ERROR("User Interrupt!");

As you see, the function has two ARG_DOUBLE macros. These macros define the double variables a and b, and assign the values of the arguments to these variables. Moreover, they check, if the user really entered two double variables.

The loop does not fail. But to make sure, we check for a pressed key. The user can then interrupt the function with the escape key as usual.

The return value is put on the Euler stack in the proper format by the new_real() function.


The following is the Euler version of this function. It is typically slower by a factor of 10-50.

>function agmeuler (a:positive number, b:positive number) ...
   until a~=b;
 return a;

Hofstadter-Conway Sequence

Here is an example, which benefits a lot from a little bit of C code. It computes the Hofstadter sequence, which is recursively defined by

20 - Compiled Code in Euler

>cd(eulerhome()); function hofstadter (n) ...
 loop 3 to n
 return v

The implementation in this function is about the fastest possible in Euler. We are using direct access to vector elements and a faster integer loop.

Here are the first 64 values.

[1,  1,  2,  2,  3,  4,  4,  4,  5,  6,  7,  7,  8,  8,  8,  8,  9,
10,  11,  12,  12,  13,  14,  14,  15,  15,  15,  16,  16,  16,  16,
16,  17,  18,  19,  20,  21,  21,  22,  23,  24,  24,  25,  26,  26,
27,  27,  27,  28,  29,  29,  30,  30,  30,  31,  31,  31,  31,  32,
32,  32,  32,  32,  32]

It takes several seconds on my computer to compute about a million elements of the sequence.

>tic; v=hofstadter(2^20); toc;
Used 3.565 seconds

The following is a tinyc function, which returns a matrix. The RES_ macro makes this easier for the user.

Once you execute the following definition, the following happens:

>function tinyc hofstadterfast (n) ...
 ## Computes n elements of the Hofstadter-Conway sequence.
 CHECK(n>2,"Need an integer larger than 2.");
 int i;
 for (i=2; i<n; i++)
   int k=(int)m[i-1];

The function seems to work.

[1,  1,  2,  2,  3,  4,  4,  4,  5,  6,  7,  7,  8,  8,  8,  8,  9,
10,  11,  12,  12,  13,  14,  14,  15,  15,  15,  16,  16,  16,  16,
16,  17,  18,  19,  20,  21,  21,  22,  23,  24,  24,  25,  26,  26,
27,  27,  27,  28,  29,  29,  30,  30,  30,  31,  31,  31,  31,  32,
32,  32,  32,  32,  32]

And it is indeed much faster, typically by a factor of 100.

>tic; v=hofstadterfast(2^20); toc;
Used 0.017 seconds

By the way, the sequence has an interesting behavior.

>i=1:256; plot2d(v[i]/i):

20 - Compiled Code in Euler

The help line in the definition is used for the status line and the help function. It will also be displayed in the help window. Try double clicking on the name of the function.

>help hofstadterfast
hofstadterfast is a comment, usually to a builtin function.

function hofstadterfast (n)

Entered from command line. 

Computes n elements of the Hofstadter-Conway sequence.

I have done the same example in Python.

21 - Python in Euler


As a word of warning, vectorized Euler functions are more flexible and may be even faster than C functions.

As an example, we define a vectorized version of a simple function in C.

>cd(eulerhome()); function tinyc f(x) ...
 int i;
 for (i=0; i<r*c; i++)
   y++; x++;

The loop goes over all elements of the matrix x, storing the results in the matrix y.

>n=1000000; v=random(1,n);  ...
   tic; f(v); toc;
Used 0.043 seconds

If we use a simple Euler function, we find that it is faster. The reason may be the better double library.

>function feul (x) := exp(-x*x/2)/sqrt(2*pi); ...
 tic; feul(v); toc;
Used 0.039 seconds

So you should use vectorization, whenever possible.

For another example, we define a function, which switches two successive elements in a vector.

>function tinyc cswitch (v) ...
 CHECK(r==1 && c%2==0,"Need a 1x2k vector");
 int i;
 for (i=0; i<c; i+=2)
   y[i]=x[i+1]; y[i+1]=x[i];
[2,  1,  4,  3,  6,  5,  8,  7,  10,  9]

To imitate this function in Euler using a loop is not a good idea.

Instead, there are various ways to make the matrix language work for this. One of them is to reorder the elements of v after they have been put in a matrix with two columns.

>function eswitch (v) ...
 return redim(fliplr(redim(v,[n/2,2])),1,n);
[2,  1,  4,  3,  6,  5,  8,  7,  10,  9]

Timing the two versions shows that the Euler function can compete.

>tic; cswitch(1:1000000); toc; ...
 tic; eswitch(1:1000000); toc;
Used 0.009 seconds
Used 0.015 seconds

More Complex Functions

In many cases tinyc functions are not sufficient. You need to write the complete C code, if

For an example, we define bitsets. The bitset is stored in binary data in Euler variables.


>filecopy(home()+"bitsets.c",eulerhome()+"bitsets.c"); ...
 cd(eulerhome()); tccompile bitsets

If we have compiled our own DLL, we need to load the functions from the DLL one by one.

It is clear that the following command are best kept in an Euler file. Especially considering that a DLL can crash if a function is called with the false number of arguments.

>dll("bitsets","bmake",1); ...
 dll("bitsets","bset",2); ...
 dll("bitsets","bget",1); ...
 dll("bitsets","band",2); ...
 dll("bitsets","bor",2); ...
 dll("bitsets","bsieve",1); ...

The Euler file could contain comment functions, which are non-callable functions to provide a help line.

>function comment bmake (n) ...
 ## Makes a bitset of size n.

Let us try the function and generate a bit set for 260 bits.

Binary data of 37 bytes

We set all bits at prime indices to 1. Note that the bitset does not contain bit number 0.


Also, note that the bitset has been changed. Arguments to DLL functions are by reference.

[2,  3,  5,  7,  11,  13,  17,  19,  23,  29,  31,  37,  41,  43,  47,
53,  59,  61,  67,  71,  73,  79,  83,  89,  97,  101,  103,  107,
109,  113,  127,  131,  137,  139,  149,  151,  157,  163,  167,  173,
179,  181,  191,  193,  197,  199,  211,  223,  227,  229,  233,  239,
241,  251,  257]

If we wish to create a bitset and set the bits automatically, we can easily write a function for this.

Note that bset(w,v) is not returning the bitset. It sets the bits of w, changing this variable.

>function bits (v) ...
 ## A bitset, where the bits with indices in v are set.
 return w;

Now we can call the operator band() to return all bits, which are set in both bitsets. This function does return a bitset.

[2,  5,  17,  37,  101,  197,  257]

Or we can return a bitset with all bits set in one of the bitsets.

[1,  4,  5,  6,  10]

Using bget, we can extract the bits, which are set.

The DLL does also contain the sieve of Eratosthenes. It stores only odd numbers. So with 10 MB we can generate all primes up to 160 millions.

>n=80000000; pr=bsieve(n)
Binary data of 10000005 bytes

The number of primes found is about 9 millions.


Here is a function, which returns all primes up to n. Remember, that we only store the odd numbers 3,5,7,...

>function bprimes(n) := 1|(bget(bsieve(n))*2+1);
[1,  3,  5,  7,  11,  13,  17,  19,  23,  29,  31,  37,  41,  43,  47,
53,  59,  61,  67,  71,  73,  79,  83,  89,  97,  101,  103,  107,
109,  113,  127,  131,  137,  139,  149,  151,  157,  163,  167,  173,
179,  181,  191,  193,  197,  199]

The bitsets file contains a factorization. The maximal integer, which can be represented exactly in double precision has 16 digits. So we need only the primes up to 10^8.

These are 500 million numbers. My computer takes some seconds to compute them.

>tic; pr=bsieve(10^8/2); toc;
Used 0.666 seconds

But now we can factor all possible integers, which can be stored in the double format.

>bfactor(1234283487123477,pr), longest prod(%)
[3,  7,  839,  1289,  1669,  32563]

Here is a 15 digit prime number.

>longest bfactor(123456789012419,pr)

Due to good matrix programming, the sieve in Euler is not much slower. But it cannot handle that many primes.

We can generate the primes up to 40 million before we get an overflow in the heap.

>long length(primes(40000000))

Calling Euler Functions

It is possible to call an Euler function from C. The interface has an initialization routine, which passes pointers to several functions in Euler. One of them is a function, which interprets Euler functions.

For a very simple example, we define the bisection method for the solution of y=f(x), where f is a function in Euler. For simplicity, we assume f(a)>0 and f(b)<0.

The calling C functions must put all parameters as Euler headers to the stack at position h, call the function, and evaluate the result, which it finds at the stack at position h. It should check the state of the error flag.

>cd(eulerhome()); function tinyc cbisect (f,a,b) ...
 double m;
 while (b-a>1e-15)
    header *h=new_real(m);
    EVAL(f,h); IFERROR("Error in evaluation of f(m)");
    if (*realof(h)>0) a=m;
    else b=m;
>function f(x) := cos(x)-x; ...
 cbisect("f",0,1), solve("cos(x)-x",1)

Other Examples

Here are some more examples.

Distribution of Primes
The Mandelbrot Set

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