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Topic: Problem with memory usage (R2009a)
Replies: 11   Last Post: Oct 21, 2009 10:20 AM

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Steven Lord

Posts: 18,038
Registered: 12/7/04
Re: Problem with memory usage (R2009a)
Posted: Oct 21, 2009 10:20 AM
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"Outspan" <> wrote in message
> On Oct 21, 1:10 pm, "Bruno Luong" <>
> > Outspan <> wrote in message
> > <>...
> >

> > > even though every single field of the struct is only 8 bytes in size.
> > > I hope that in its internal representation it's not replicating the
> > > field names 500K times...

> >
> > No, the internal fieldnames is not duplicated, other internal "things"
> > (matlab mxArray like) do.
> >
> > Drop using array of struct if you want to save memory and speed.
> >
> > Bruno

> So I should use a matrix instead? Obviously that's going to save
> space, but the code is going to get ugly if I ever have to load
> different kinds of data for the same record. I just don't understand
> why structs have to take up that much space.

Rather than using an array of structs (and incurring the struct header
overhead for each element of that array) you could use a struct containing
arrays (and incur the header overhead once.)

arrayOfStructs = repmat(struct('x', 1), 1, 1000);
for k = 1:1000
arrayOfStructs(k).x = k;
structOfArrays = struct('x', 1:1000);
whos arrayOfStructs structOfArrays

Now note there's a trade-off here -- if each element of the arrayOfStructs
array contains data about a patient in a doctor's office, for example, then
it will be easier to retrieve data about an individual patient by using
arrayOfStructs(patientNumber). In structOfArrays, you will need to index
into each field (possibly using STRUCTFUN) to retrieve a patient's complete
record. On the other hand, if x contains the height of each patient, it's
easy to extract that data from structOfArrays (using heights =
structOfArrays.x;) but slightly more difficult for arrayOfStructs (you need
to remember to use square brackets, as in heights = [arrayOfStructs.x];)

This article from Loren's blog talks a little bit about the differences
between an array of structs and a struct containing arrays.

as well as this section of the documentation:

Steve Lord
comp.soft-sys.matlab (CSSM) FAQ:

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