Numpys pinv seem slow?

Numpys pinv seem slow?

Problem Description:

I was playing around with numpys pinv, and it seems like it is quite slow. Compared to a homebrewed function:

def moore_penrose_inverse(data: np.ndarray) -> np.ndarray:
    if data.shape[0] > data.shape[1]:
        results = np.linalg.inv(, data)) @ data.T
    elif data.shape[0] < data.shape[1]:
        results = data.T @ np.linalg.inv(, data.T))
        results = np.linalg.inv(data)
    return results

It seem to be way slower:

data = np.random.random((500,1000))

%timeit np.linalg.pinv(data)
335 ms ± 57.1 ms per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 1 loop each)

%timeit moore_penrose_inverse(data)
42.6 ms ± 1.64 ms per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10 loops each)

An they do return the same result:

np.allclose(np.linalg.pinv(data), moore_penrose_inverse(data))
np.allclose(np.linalg.pinv(data.T), moore_penrose_inverse(data.T))

For larger datasets, it also seemed that the pinv was around a factor 10 slower than the homebrewed.

I know numpy uses svd to calculate the pseudo inverse, but what are the benefits of this and is it worth compared to the loss of speed?

Solution – 1

Based on my understanding of the Moore–Penrose inverse, the code of Numpy of both inv and pinv, and profiling results, I can say that the performance gap comes from the computation of the singular value decomposition which takes about 96% of the time (at least on my machine).

I do not have a strong mathematical background on this, so please correct me if I am wrong: AFAIK, this SVD seems required for the pinv to provide correct/numerically-stable results when it is useful to compute this generalized inverse. AFAIK, the random matrix used in the example is not a pathological case where the generalized inverse is useful and a basic inverse can be used instead. I think it is related to the rank of the input matrix and random input matrices have the property of being full-rank while this method is useful when they are not.

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