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Understanding Performance

The first step in making computations run quickly is to understand the costs involved. In Python we often rely on tools like the CProfile module, %%prun IPython magic, VMProf, or snakeviz to understand the costs associated with our code. However, few of these tools work well on multi-threaded or multi-process code, and fewer still on computations distributed among many machines. We also have new costs like data transfer, serialization, task scheduling overhead, and more that we may not be accustomed to tracking.

Fortunately, the Dask schedulers come with diagnostics to help you understand the performance characteristics of your computations. By using these diagnostics and with some thought, we can often identify the slow parts of troublesome computations.

The :doc:`single-machine and distributed schedulers <scheduling>` come with different diagnostic tools. These tools are deeply integrated into each scheduler, so a tool designed for one will not transfer over to the other.

These pages provide four options for profiling parallel code:

  1. :doc:`Visualize task graphs <graphviz>`
  2. :ref:`Single threaded scheduler and a normal Python profiler <single-threaded-scheduler>`
  3. :doc:`Diagnostics for the single-machine scheduler <diagnostics-local>`
  4. :doc:`Diagnostics for the distributed scheduler and dashboard <diagnostics-distributed>`

Additionally, if you are interested in understanding the various phases where slowdown can occur, you may wish to read the following: