The general recommendation is that you should only try to compile the critical paths in your code. If you have a piece of performance-critical computational code amongst some higher-level code, you may factor out the performance-critical code in a separate function and compile the separate function with Numba. Letting Numba focus on that small piece of performance-critical code has several advantages:
There can be various reasons why Numba cannot compile your code, and raises an error instead. One common reason is that your code relies on an unsupported Python feature, especially in nopython mode. Please see the list of Supported Python features. If you find something that is listed there and still fails compiling, please report a bug.
The other reason is that you asked for nopython mode, and type inference has failed on some piece of your code. For example, let’s consider this trivial function:
@jit(nopython=True) def f(x, y): return x + y
If you call it with two numbers, Numba is able to infer the types properly:
>>> f(1, 2) 3
If however you call it with a tuple and a number, Numba is unable to say what the result of adding a tuple and number is, and therefore compilation errors out:
>>> f(1, (2,)) Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> [...] File "/home/antoine/numba/numba/typeinfer.py", line 242, in resolve raise TypingError(msg, loc=self.loc) numba.typeinfer.TypingError: Failed at nopython frontend Undeclared +(int64, (int32 x 1)) File "<stdin>", line 2
The error message helps you find out what went wrong: “Undeclared +(int64, (int32 x 1))” is to be interpreted as “Numba encountered an addition of variables typed as integer and 1-tuple of integer, respectively, and doesn’t know about any such operation”.
Note that if you allow object mode, compilation will succeed and the compiled function will raise at runtime as Python would do:
>>> g(1, (2,)) Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for +: 'int' and 'tuple'
The most common reason for slowness of a compiled JIT function is that compiling in nopython mode has failed and the Numba compiler has fallen back to object mode. object mode currently provides little to no speedup compared to regular Python interpretation, and its main point is to allow an internal optimization known as loop-lifting: this optimization will allow to compile inner loops in nopython mode regardless of what code surrounds those inner loops.
To find out if type inference succeeded on your function, you can use the inspect_types() method on the compiled function.
For example, let’s take the following function:
@jit def f(a, b): s = a + float(b) return s
When called with numbers, this function should be fast as Numba is able to convert number types to floating-point numbers. Let’s see:
>>> f(1, 2) 3.0 >>> f.inspect_types() f (int64, int64) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- # --- LINE 7 --- @jit # --- LINE 8 --- def f(a, b): # --- LINE 9 --- # label 0 # a.1 = a :: int64 # del a # b.1 = b :: int64 # del b # $0.2 = global(float: <class 'float'>) :: Function(<class 'float'>) # $0.4 = call $0.2(b.1, ) :: (int64,) -> float64 # del b.1 # del $0.2 # $0.5 = a.1 + $0.4 :: float64 # del a.1 # del $0.4 # s = $0.5 :: float64 # del $0.5 s = a + float(b) # --- LINE 10 --- # $0.7 = cast(value=s) :: float64 # del s # return $0.7 return s
Without trying to understand too much of the Numba intermediate representation, it is still visible that all variables and temporary values have had their types inferred properly: for example a has the type int64, $0.5 has the type float64, etc.
However, if b is passed as a string, compilation will fall back on object mode as the float() constructor with a string is currently not supported by Numba:
>>> f(1, "2") 3.0 >>> f.inspect_types() [... snip annotations for other signatures, see above ...] ================================================================================ f (int64, str) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- # --- LINE 7 --- @jit # --- LINE 8 --- def f(a, b): # --- LINE 9 --- # label 0 # a.1 = a :: pyobject # del a # b.1 = b :: pyobject # del b # $0.2 = global(float: <class 'float'>) :: pyobject # $0.4 = call $0.2(b.1, ) :: pyobject # del b.1 # del $0.2 # $0.5 = a.1 + $0.4 :: pyobject # del a.1 # del $0.4 # s = $0.5 :: pyobject # del $0.5 s = a + float(b) # --- LINE 10 --- # $0.7 = cast(value=s) :: pyobject # del s # return $0.7 return s
Here we see that all variables end up typed as pyobject. This means that the function was compiled in object mode and values are passed around as generic Python objects, without Numba trying to look into them to reason about their raw values. This is a situation you want to avoid when caring about the speed of your code.
There are several ways of understanding why a function fails to compile in nopython mode:
pass nopython=True, which will raise an error indicating what went wrong (see above My code doesn’t compile);
enable warnings by setting the NUMBA_WARNINGS environment variable; for example with the f() function above:
>>> f(1, 2) 3.0 >>> f(1, "2") example.py:7: NumbaWarning: Function "f" failed type inference: Internal error at <numba.typeinfer.CallConstrain object at 0x7f6b8dd24550>: float() only support for numbers File "example.py", line 9 @jit example.py:7: NumbaWarning: Function "f" was compiled in object mode without forceobj=True. @jit 3.0