Code speed and efficiency#

EMD analysis can be time-consuming. This tutorial outlines some basic information about how long different computations may take and what features can be used to speed this up.

Sift Speed#

The sift can be time-consuming for two reasons. Firstly, it is an iterative process which can vary in how long it takes to converge. Though many signals can be sifted in a handful of iterations some may take tens or hundreds of iterations before an IMF is identified - unfortunately we can’t tell before the process is running. Secondly, the sift is sequential in that we can’t compute the second IMF until the first IMF has been identified.

The default settings in the sift are selected to operate reasonably well and reasonable quickly on a signal. Here we include some a very rough, order of magnitude illustration of timings based on running speeds on a modern computer (the readthedocs server generating this website).

import emd
import time
import numpy as np

# ---- Ten thousand sample example
x = np.random.randn(10000,)

t = time.process_time()
imf = emd.sift.sift(x)
elapsed = 1000 * (time.process_time() - t)
print('{0} samples sifted in {1} milliseconds'.format(10000, elapsed))

# ---- Five thousand samples example
x = np.random.randn(5000,)

t = time.process_time()
imf = emd.sift.sift(x)
elapsed = 1000 * (time.process_time() - t)
print('{0} samples sifted in {1} milliseconds'.format(5000, elapsed))

# ---- Five hundred samples example
x = np.random.randn(500,)

t = time.process_time()
imf = emd.sift.sift(x)
elapsed = 1000 * (time.process_time() - t)
print('{0} samples sifted in {1} milliseconds'.format(500, elapsed))


10000 samples sifted in 69.70115699999724 milliseconds
5000 samples sifted in 45.068799000006265 milliseconds
500 samples sifted in 13.12315799999908 milliseconds

The sift executes in well less than a second for all examples. Computation time increases with input array size linearly for relatively short input but exponentially but larger ones (>1 million samples, not computed here…).

Some options can noticeably slow down the sift. For example, the imf option imf_opts/stop_method='rilling' is tends to use more iterations than the default imf_opts/stop_method='sd'. Similarly changing the thresholds for either stopping method can increase the number of iterations computed. the envelope interpolation method envelope_opes/interp_method='mono_pchip' is much slower than the default envelope_opes/interp_method='splrep'

Sift Variants#

Compared to the classic sift, the ensemble and mask sift are slower but have more options for speeding up computation. The computation speed of emd.sift.ensemble_sift and emd.sift.complete_ensemble_sift is most strongly determined by the number of ensembles that are computed - however, these can be parallelised by setting the nprocesses option to be greater than 1.

# Run an ensemble sift with 24 ensembles
imf = emd.sift.ensemble_sift(x, nensembles=24, max_imfs=6)

# Run an ensemble sift with the 24 ensembles splits across 6 parallel threads
imf = emd.sift.ensemble_sift(x, nensembles=24, max_imfs=6, nprocesses=6)

Similarly, the timing of emd.sift.mask_sift is strongly determined by the number of separate masks applied to each IMF - specified by nphases. Again this can be parallelised by setting nprocesses to speed up computation time.

# Compute a mask sift, applying four masks per IMF
imf = emd.sift.mask_sift(x, nphases=4)

# Compute a mask sift, applying four masks per IMF split across 4 parallel processes
imf = emd.sift.mask_sift(x, nphases=4, nprocesses=4)

Sparse Time-Frequency Transforms.#

Another potentially slow computation during an EMD analysis is generating Hilbert-Huang and Holospectrum arrays. Both of these algorithms make use of nested looping to form the output. As this can be very slow, these operations are accelerated internally by using sparse arrays. This allows the Hilbert-Huang transform and Holospectrum arrays to be formed in one shot without looping.

By default, these outputs are cast to normal numpy arrays before being returned to the user. If you are working with a very large transform, it is far more memory and computationally efficient to work with the sparse form of these arrays. These can be returned by specifying return_sparse=True in the options in either emd.spectra.hilberthuang or emd.spectra.holospectrum.

IP, IF, IA = emd.spectra.frequency_transform(imf, 1, 'hilbert')
freq_edges, freq_bins = emd.spectra.define_hist_bins(0, .5, 75)

msg = 'Output is a {0} of size {1} using {2}Kb of memory'

f, hht = emd.spectra.hilberthuang(IF, IA, freq_edges)
print(msg.format(type(hht), hht.shape, hht.nbytes/1024))

f, hht = emd.spectra.hilberthuang(IF, IA, freq_edges, return_sparse=True)
print(msg.format(type(hht), hht.shape,


Output is a <class 'numpy.ndarray'> of size (75,) using 0.5859375Kb of memory
Output is a <class 'numpy.ndarray'> of size (75,) using 0.5859375Kb of memory

Total running time of the script: ( 0 minutes 9.364 seconds)

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