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using global variables to avoid passing by value

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min lee
min lee el 6 de Abr. de 2024
Respondida: alelap el 6 de Abr. de 2024
It is often heard that using global variables is a bad practice.
However, personally, I often declare some variable as global to avoid passing its value to a function call.
My concern is, the function is to be called many many times, and if each time the variable which is a big chuck of data is to be passed by value to the function, it would take a lot of time for copying the data.
Therefore, is using global variable really a bad idea in this circumstance?
BTW, the global variable is not changed by the function in my case.

Respuesta aceptada

John D'Errico
John D'Errico el 6 de Abr. de 2024
Editada: John D'Errico el 6 de Abr. de 2024
Sorry. I'll call it a bad idea, generated because you erroneously think you are doing something good.
MATLAB does not actually copy the data if it is not changed when you pass it into a function. I know, you don't believe me.
global A
A = rand(20000);
timeit(@() test1(A))
ans = 0.0474
timeit(@() test2)
ans = 0.0477
timeit(@() test3(A))
ans = 1.7941
function y = test1(A)
y = sum(A); % uses A, but does not change it
function y = test2()
global A % global pass
y = sum(A);
function y = test3(A)
A(1,1) = 2; % changing one element of A now forces a copy.
y = sum(A);
In this example, it seems passing in the array took slightly LESS time than by passing it as global. When I changed one element of A inside the function, now MATLAB was forced to copy the array. So as you can see, passing it in as global gained you nothing.
Skip the globals. They just make your code worse in many ways.

Más respuestas (1)

alelap el 6 de Abr. de 2024
I agree with Jonh D'Errico's answer.
MATLAB uses a so called "copy-on-write" mechanism that is exactly designed to tackle such a circumstance:


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