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054bFollow-Up to JDK 1.4 HashMap hashCode() Mystery

Author: Dr. Heinz M. KabutzDate: 2002-08-15Java Version: 1.4Category: Performance

Abstract: The "remainder function" is a form of division. "Division" is the most expensive CPU operation. HotSpot can transform "remainder" to a cheaper "multiply" operation. When benchmarking, we need to make sure that the divisor is not constant.


This is just a quick follow-up to the newsletter sent this morning at 2:00am South African time. It seems I was not very careful with the source code and a few errors crept in. Please have a look at the archive for a corrected edition. After finally collapsing in bed at 2:15am, I was rudely reminded that I have a daughter of 11 months old. She kept up her antics until 6:00am, when I had to get up to carry on presenting my Java course. *sigh* - today was not a good day!

Joshua Bloch wrote to me after last night's newsletter, sending me some more information about the remainder performance mystery, and I feel I should pass the information on to you, my readers:

Joshua Bloch: By the way, I now know more about what's going on with mod/division. There is a collection of techniques for doing fast division by a constant. These techniques are covered in great detail in Chapter 10 of a marvelous new book with the unlikely title of "Hacker's Delight" by Henry Warren [ISBN 0201914654] . It turns out that the old ("Classic") VM knew some of these tricks, but Hotspot, in releases up to 1.4, did not. While 1.4.1 can do some of this stuff, I suspect that later releases will do more.

I wrote a FairRemainderBenchmark that calculates the remainder with a variable, the way that the old HashMap would have done, and alas, the speed of the various JDKs is roughly the same:

import java.util.Random;
public class FairRemainderBenchmark implements Benchmark {
  private static final int ITERATIONS = 10 * 1000 * 1000;
  private int memory;
  public int doCalculation() {
    int val = 0;
    Random rand = new Random(0);      
    int bucket_size = (int)(rand.nextDouble() * 101) + 1;
    for (int i = 0; i < ITERATIONS; i++) {
      val = i % bucket_size;
    memory = val;
    return ITERATIONS;

The performance is now quite similar between the old and the new versions of the JVM:

JVM version:1.2
18867  18832  18484  19193  18832  18518  19193  18832  18484  18832
Average 18806 iterations per millisecond

JVM version:1.3.1_03
18867  18148  18832  18484  18484  18867  18832  18832  18148  18484
Average 18597 iterations per millisecond

JVM version:1.4.0
18832  19193  19230  19193  19193  19193  19193  19230  19193  19193
Average 19164 iterations per millisecond

JVM version:1.4.1-beta
17825  18148  18148  18148  17543  18484  18148  18148  17513  18518
Average 18062 iterations per millisecond




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