[SOLVED] Typed lists vs ND-arrays in Numba

Issue

Could someone, please clarify that what is the benefit of using a Numba typed list over an ND array? Also, how do the two compares in terms of speed, and in what context would it be recommended to use the typed list?

Solution

Typed lists are useful when your need to append a sequence of elements but you do not know the total number of elements and you could not even find a reasonable bound. Such a data structure is significantly more expensive than a 1D array (both in memory space and computation time).

1D arrays cannot be resized efficiently: a new array needs to be created and a copy must be performed. However, the indexing of 1D arrays is very cheap. Numpy also provide many functions that can natively operate on them (lists are implicitly converted to arrays when passed to a Numpy function and this process is expensive). Note that is the number of items can be bounded to a reasonably size (ie. not much higher than the number of actual element), you can create a big array, then add the elements and finally work on a sub-view of the array.

ND arrays cannot be directly compared with lists. Note that lists of lists are similar to jagged array (they can contains lists of different sizes) while ND array are likes a (fixed-size) N x ... x M table. Lists of lists are very inefficient and often not needed.

As a result, use ND arrays when you can and you do not need to often resize them (or append/remove elements). Otherwise, use typed lists.

Answered By – Jérôme Richard

Answer Checked By – Senaida (BugsFixing Volunteer)

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