# MATLAB vs Python Computational Speed

Windows Edition
Windows 8.1 Pro

System
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5500U CPU @ 2.4GHz
Installed Memory 8.00 GB
System Type 64 Bit Operating System, x64 Based Processor

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
Enthought Canopy
Version 2.1.3.3542 (32 bit)

 Operation Time in sec (MATLAB) Time in sec (PYTHON) 10 million uniform random variable generation 0.10 0.15 10 million normal random variable generation 0.13 0.40 for loop counting up to 100 million 0.40 11.60 Comparing two vectors of length 10 million each 0.39 0.55 Plotting a histogram of 10 million values 0.89 0.76 Plotting a scatter plot of 1 million values 0.30 0.23 Bit error rate calculation of BPSK for 10 values of SNR 2.49 4.51

Although Python is a bit slower than MATLAB for most of the cases but the real difference is in implementation of “for loop” where the speed of MATLAB is 29x that of Python. Another surprising result was that the plot functions for Python were somewhat faster than MATLAB.

# Fast Fourier Transform – Code

Most of us have used the FFT routine in MATLAB. This routine has become increasingly important in simulation of communication systems as it is being used in Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) which is employed in 4G technologies like LTE and WiMAX. We would not go into the theoretical details of the FFT, rather, we would produce the MATLAB code for it and leave the theoretical discussion for a later time.

The underlying technique of the FFT algorithm is to divide a big problem into several smaller problems which are much easier to solve and then combine the results in the end.

```%%%%% INITIALIZATION %%%%%
clear all
close all

fm=100;
fs=1000;
Ts=1/fs;
nn=1024;
isign=1;

t=0:Ts:(nn-1)*Ts;

x_c=exp(1i*2*pi*fm*t);
x(1:2:2*nn-1)=imag(x_c);
x(2:2:2*nn)=real(x_c);

%%%%% BIT REVERSAL %%%%%
n=2*nn;
j=1;
for i=1:2:n-1
if(j>i)
temp=x(j);
x(j)=x(i);
x(i)=temp;

temp=x(j+1);
x(j+1)=x(i+1);
x(i+1)=temp;
end
m=nn;
while (m >= 2 && j > m)
j=j-m;
m=m/2;
end
j=j+m;
end

%%%%% DANIELSON-LANCZOS ALGO %%%%%
mmax=2;
while (n > mmax)
istep=2*mmax;
theta=isign*(2*pi/mmax);
wtemp=sin(0.5*theta);
wpr=-2*wtemp*wtemp;
wpi=sin(theta);
wr=1.0;
wi=0.0;
for m=1:2:mmax-1
for i=m:istep:n
j=i+mmax;
tempr=wr*x(j)-wi*x(j+1);
tempi=wr*x(j+1)+wi*x(j);
x(j)=x(i)-tempr;
x(j+1)=x(i+1)-tempi;
x(i)=x(i)+tempr;
x(i+1)=x(i+1)+tempi;
end
wtemp=wr;
wr=wr*wpr-wi*wpi+wr;
wi=wi*wpr+wtemp*wpi+wi;
end
mmax=istep;
end
F=x(2:2:n)+1i*x(1:2:n-1);
plot((0:fs/(nn-1):fs),abs(F))```

In the above example we have calculated an ‘nn’ point complex FFT of an ‘nn’ point complex time domain signal. The algorithm takes the input in a special arrangement where the ‘nn’ point complex input signal is converted into ‘2*nn’ real sequence where the imaginary components are placed in odd elements and real components are placed in even elements of the input sequence. A similar arrangement works for the output sequence.

Shown below is the FFT of a complex exponential with a frequency of 100 Hz. The plot is shown from 0Hz to 1000 Hz which is the sampling frequency. A signal with multiple frequencies would have to be passed through a Low Pass Filter (LPF) so that the signal components above 500 Hz (fs/2) are filtered out. When the FFT of a real signal is performed an image frequency is produced between 500 Hz to 1000 Hz.

Here we have discussed the case of complex input sequence. Simplifications can be made for a real sequence or for special signals such as pure sine and cosine waves. We will discuss these in later posts.

[1] Numerical Recipes in C, The Art of Scientific Computing, Cambridge University Press.