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Hands-on: Using C-functions

In this exercise you can practice using C-functions in Cython modules.

The code for this exercise is located under cython/c-functions.

Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of integers defined by the recurrence relation

Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2

with the initial values F0=0, F1=1.

The module fib.py contains a function fibonacci(n) that calculates recursively Fn. The function can be used e.g. as

from fib import fibonacci


Make a Cython version of the module, and investigate how adding type information and making fibonacci a C-function affects performance (hint: function needs to be called both from Python and C). Use timeit for performance measurements, either from command line

$ python3 -m timeit -s "from fib import fibonacci" "fibonacci(30)"

or within IPython

In []: %timeit fibonacci(30)

Note: this recursive algorithm is very inefficient way of calculating Fibonacci numbers.

How much speedup are you are able to get by using Cython? Are you able to come up with more efficient pure Python algortihm? Please comment!

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This article is from the free online course:

Python in High Performance Computing

Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)