Difference between tic() toc(), @time or @elapse in Julia?



Hi, I am new to Julia and I am wondering what’s the difference between tic() toc(),@time, @elapse when measuring elapsed time in Julia.
I tried the codes below:

And here’s the output:

It showed that tic() toc() and t2-t1 share relatively close quantity. On contrast, @time and @elapse are close. However, there is difference between tic toc and @time.
What is the difference and why?
Which approach should I use to measure the elapsed time?
Thanks a lot!


You can see what’s inside of each of these calls using macroexpand (for @time and @elapsed) or @edit (for tic()/toc()). E.g. for @elapsed:

julia> macroexpand(:(@elapsed A * B))
quote  # util.jl, line 225:
    local #5#t0 = (Base.time_ns)() # util.jl, line 226:
    local #6#val = A * B # util.jl, line 227:
    ((Base.time_ns)() - #5#t0) / 1.0e9

A couple of differences that I noticed:

  1. @time prints elapsed time (including GC time), but returns result of wrapped expression. E.g. result = @time A*B returns a matrix.
  2. @elapsed returns elapsed time. E.g. result = @elapsed A*B returns time that A * B took.
  3. tic() and toc() behave similar to @time and seem to be borrowed from Matlab.


Is there a way to return both the result and the timing? I am trying to build a benchmarking suite for data manipulation, so my use case is generating a large dataframe and keep the result but also keep track of how long it takes to create that dataframe.


time = @elapse res = f(x) will save the result to res and the time to time.


For the reference, I believe that tic and toc are getting deprecated in Julia 0.7, cf. issue #17046:

(issue closed by a commit in September 2017)