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Paul Bonser wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Geoff Leyland
> <> wrote:
> > You're right, someone *could* rewrite ipopt in Lua, but, for
> > me at least, that seems about as hard as rewriting LuaJIT
> > would be, and anyway, maybe next week I'll want to use couenne
> > [2].  I don't expect any magic from LuaJIT to help in this
> > situation, but I think it does occur legitimately.
> If I understand correctly, someone could use ipopt from within LuaJIT,
> with callbacks written in Lua (as soon as Mike finishes adding
> callbacks to the FFI), and then they would get close to the same
> performance if the entire thing was written in C, right?

Nope, the performance wouldn't be close to C in this case. :-/

Lua is a dynamic language and the JIT compiler extensively relies
on the ability to move all of the dynamic overhead out of inner
loops. This works fine if your code is all in Lua, because
eventually it _will_ find a loop for any code that runs more than
a few nanoseconds.

The dynamic type checks and specialization checks only need to be
done once, and the inner loop stays clear of that overhead. All of
this relies on the fact that the JIT compiler has complete control
over the execution, because it stays in pure Lua code for the
entire duration of the loop.

But this doesn't work with a short linear piece of Lua code that's
called from C and immediately returns to C. All of the context is
lost between repeated calls and the state of the universe may have
completely changed as far as the Lua side is concerned.

So all of those type checks and specializations have to be redone
_on every call_. The generated code would be faster than the Lua
interpreter, but certainly not by several orders of magnitude.

> Also, in Shawn's case, if he could call into his C/C++ main loop using
> the FFI, after also using the (as yet unimplemented) callback
> functionality to register his Lua callbacks with the C/C++ code, then
> he would also reap the benefits of having his lua code JITed?

Same problem as above. All context is lost between calls. The
C side suffers, too. But not as much as the Lua side, since it's
statically typed and it _is_ the caller and can keep context,
which means it has far better optimization opportunities.