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ForLoop

vtk-examples/Cxx/Utilities/ForLoop

Description

As a result of historical and evolving C++ standards there are are multiple ways of doing the same thing with vtkDataArrays in the VTK C++ code base. This example demonstrates various ways of iterating through a vtkDataArray and operating on the resultant tuple to create a new result. The result of the operation is inserted into a new vtkDataArray.

In this example, all the functions operate on a vtkTypeFloat64Array of vectors to compute a vtkTypeFloat64Array of magnitudes. We also test to ensure the correct magnitudes are generated.

This example demonstrates:

  • The classic for loop e.g. for (auto c = 0; c < 3; ++c) and static_cast.

    • naivemag3, demonstrates the classic for loop using a counter.
    • mag3GetPointer, uses raw pointers, it becomes a little complicated calling mag3Trampoline which then calls mag3Helper. Lots of static_cast has to be used.
    • mag3Explicit, instantiate a templated function with explicit types. It is similar to naivemag3.
  • A dispatcher/worker paradigm. This is the recommended approach. In the dispatcher function, we instantiate a worker. Then we use vtkArrayDispatch to generate optimised workers when the arrays are both float or double and fall back to just using the worker for other situations.

    • mag3Dispatch1 instantiates the struct Mag3Worker1 where we use accessors, APIType and assume the tuple sizes.
    • mag3Dispatch2a instantiates the struct Mag3Worker2a where range objects are used.
    • mag3Dispatch2b instantiates the struct Mag3Worker2b where range objects are used. Here ReferenceType and ConstReferenceType are used. Also elements in the range are accessed using operator[] like a STL indexed container.
    • mag3Dispatch3 instantiates the struct Mag3Worker3 where range objects are used. Here ValueType and ConstReferenceType are used. We also create a lambda to calculate the magnitude for each tuple. This is then used in std::transform to generate the magnitudes.

Refer to Further reading for more information.

Note that VTK provides a (not so well known) series of templated data types that are especially useful when dealing with data from other sources:

  • vtkTypeFloat32Array, vtkTypeFloat64Array,
  • vtkTypeInt8Array, vtkTypeInt64Array,
  • vtkTypeUInt8Array, vtkTypeUInt64Array

Best Practice

Yohann Bearzi has provided the following guidelines for best practices:

  • Whenever you hold a vtkDataArray for which you don't know the underlying type (i.e. you cannot safely vtkArrayDownCast), you should use vtkArrayDispatch and write your accesses in a functor. This prevents a bunch of implicit static_cast.
  • Whenever you hold a vtkDataArray on which you know the underlying type (ghost arrays for instance vtkUnsignedCharArray, or global ids vtkIdTypeArray), you should use vtkArrayDownCast.
  • When you finally hold a typed instance of vtkDataArray:

    • If the array only holds values (tuples with one component), use GetValue.
    • If the array holds tuples, you can prevent a copy for each access with AOS arrays by using vtk::ArrayTupleRange. In this case, the pointer of the corresponding tuple in the array is directly used for access.

If you want to use STL algorithms, such as std::transform or std::sort, convert your downcasted array into a range and proceed.

If you know at compile time how many components are in your array, you should template vtk::ArrayTupleRange and vtk::ArrayValueRange with the number of components (3 for 3D points, for instance).

It is left as an exercise for the reader to identify best practices in the example.

Thanks

Special thanks must go to wangzhezhe for developing the source code on which this example is based, see this discourse article: get the raw pointer from the vtkPoints, the original source code is here: forloops.cpp.

Further reading

For further reading please see:

Question

If you have a question about this example, please use the VTK Discourse Forum

Code

ForLoop.cxx

#include <vtkArrayDispatch.h>
#include <vtkDataArrayAccessor.h>
#include <vtkDataArrayRange.h>
#include <vtkNew.h>
#include <vtkTypeFloat64Array.h>

#include <algorithm>
#include <array>
#include <iomanip>
#include <iostream>
#include <sstream>
#include <string>
#include <type_traits>
#include <vector>

namespace {

// Using naive way to go through the array.
void naivemag3(vtkDataArray* vectors, vtkDataArray* magnitudes);

// GetVoidPointer, mag3GetPointer call mag3Trampoline then call mag3Helper
void mag3GetPointer(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags);

template <typename VecType>
void mag3Trampoline(VecType* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags, vtkIdType numTuples);

template <typename VecType, typename MagType>
void mag3Helper(VecType* vecs, MagType* mags, vtkIdType numTuples);

// mag3 explicit types
template <typename ArrayT1, typename ArrayT2>
void mag3Explicit(ArrayT1* vectors, ArrayT2* magnitudes);

struct Mag3Worker1
{
  template <typename VecArray, typename MagArray>
  void operator()(VecArray* vecs, MagArray* mags)
  {
    // The Accessor types:
    using VecAccess = vtkDataArrayAccessor<VecArray>;
    using MagAccess = vtkDataArrayAccessor<MagArray>;

    // The "APITypes"
    // (explicit-type when possible, double for plain vtkDataArrays)
    using VecType = typename VecAccess::APIType;
    using MagType = typename MagAccess::APIType;

    // Tell the compiler the tuple sizes to enable optimizations:
    VTK_ASSUME(vecs->GetNumberOfComponents() == 3);
    VTK_ASSUME(mags->GetNumberOfComponents() == 1);

    const vtkIdType numTuples = vecs->GetNumberOfTuples();

    VecAccess vecAccess{vecs};
    MagAccess magAccess{mags};

    for (vtkIdType t = 0; t < numTuples; ++t)
    {
      MagType mag = 0;
      for (int c = 0; c < 3; ++c)
      {
        VecType comp = vecAccess.Get(t, c);
        auto cc = static_cast<MagType>(comp);
        mag += cc * cc;
      }
      mag = std::sqrt(mag);
      magAccess.Set(t, 0, mag);
    }
  }
};

struct Mag3Worker2a
{
  template <typename VecArray, typename MagArray>
  void operator()(VecArray* vecs, MagArray* mags)
  {
    // Create range objects:
    // Refer to this:
    // https://vtk.org/doc/nightly/html/classvtkArrayDispatch.html
    const auto vecRange = vtk::DataArrayTupleRange<3>(vecs);
    auto magRange = vtk::DataArrayValueRange<1>(mags);

    using VecType = typename decltype(vecRange)::ComponentType;
    using MagType = typename decltype(magRange)::ValueType;

    auto magIter = magRange.begin();
    for (const auto& vecTuple : vecRange)
    {
      MagType mag = 0;
      for (const VecType comp : vecTuple)
      {
        auto c = static_cast<MagType>(comp);
        mag += c * c;
      }
      *magIter = std::sqrt(mag);
      magIter++;
    }
  }
};

/**
 * This is similar to MagWorker2a but demonstrates the use of ReferenceType and
 * ConstReferenceType.
 *
 * Also elements in the range are accessed using operator[]
 * like an stl indexed container.
 *
 */
struct Mag3Worker2b
{
  template <typename VecArray, typename MagArray>
  void operator()(VecArray* vecs, MagArray* mags)
  {
    // Create range objects:
    const auto vecRange = vtk::DataArrayTupleRange<3>(vecs);
    auto magRange = vtk::DataArrayValueRange<1>(mags);

    using VecConstTupleRef =
        typename decltype(vecRange)::ConstTupleReferenceType;
    using VecConstCompRef =
        typename decltype(vecRange)::ConstComponentReferenceType;
    using MagRef = typename decltype(magRange)::ReferenceType;
    using MagType = typename decltype(magRange)::ValueType;

    for (vtkIdType id = 0; id < vecRange.size(); ++id)
    {
      MagRef magRef = magRange[id] = 0;
      VecConstTupleRef vecTuple = vecRange[id];
      for (VecConstCompRef&& comp : vecTuple)
      {
        auto c = static_cast<MagType>(comp);
        magRef += c * c;
      }
      magRef = std::sqrt(magRef);
    }
  }
};

/**
 * Here we create a functor for use by std::transform.
 *
 */
struct Mag3Worker3
{
  template <typename VecArray, typename MagArray>
  void operator()(VecArray* vecs, MagArray* mags)
  {
    // Create range objects:
    const auto vecRange = vtk::DataArrayTupleRange<3>(vecs);
    auto magRange = vtk::DataArrayValueRange<1>(mags);

    using VecConstTupleRef =
        typename decltype(vecRange)::ConstTupleReferenceType;
    using MagType = typename decltype(magRange)::ValueType;

    // Per-tuple magnitude functor for std::transform:
    auto computeMag = [](VecConstTupleRef tuple) -> MagType {
      MagType mag = 0;
      for (const auto& comp : tuple)
      {
        auto c = static_cast<MagType>(comp);
        mag += c * c;
      }
      return std::sqrt(mag);
    };

    std::transform(vecRange.cbegin(), vecRange.cend(), magRange.begin(),
                   computeMag);
  }
};

void mag3Dispatch1(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags);

void mag3Dispatch2a(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags);

void mag3Dispatch2b(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags);

void mag3Dispatch3(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags);

bool verifyResults(vtkDataArray* magnitudes,
                   std::vector<std::string> const& expectedMagnitudes);

} // namespace

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  // The data and the result arrays.
  // Of course you can use:
  // vtkNew<vtkDoubleArray> darray;
  // vtkNew<vtkDoubleArray> results;
  // However, lets use the VTK templated data types:
  vtkNew<vtkTypeFloat64Array> darray;
  vtkNew<vtkTypeFloat64Array> results;

  // The number of components must be set in advance.
  darray->SetNumberOfComponents(3);
  results->SetNumberOfComponents(1);

  int TupleNum = 10;

  darray->SetNumberOfTuples(TupleNum);
  results->SetNumberOfTuples(TupleNum);

  auto printTuple = [](const std::array<vtkTypeFloat64, 3> tuple) {
    std::ostringstream os;
    auto separator = "";
    auto const sep = ", ";
    for (const auto& t : tuple)
    {
      os.setf(ios::fixed, ios::floatfield);
      os << std::setprecision(1) << separator << t;
      separator = sep;
    }
    return os.str();
  };

  for (vtkIdType i = 0; i < TupleNum; i++)
  {
    std::array<vtkTypeFloat64, 3> tuple = {{i * 0.1, i * 0.2, i * 0.3}};
    // std::cout << printTuple(tuple) << std::endl;

    // If the number of tuples is not set in advance, we can use InsertTuple.
    // darray->InsertTuple(i, tuple.data());
    darray->SetTuple(i, tuple.data());
  }

  // Set up for testing.
  std::vector<std::string> expectedMagnitudes{
      "0.000000", "0.374166", "0.748331", "1.122497", "1.496663",
      "1.870829", "2.244994", "2.619160", "2.993326", "3.367492"};
  std::string failMessage =
      "---         Fail: Results don't match expected values.";
  auto exitValue = EXIT_SUCCESS;

  // We could explicitly specify the capture list:
  //  [&exitValue, &results, &expectedMagnitudes, &failMessage]
  //  instead of just [&].
  auto checkResult = [&]() {
    if (!verifyResults(results, expectedMagnitudes))
    {
      std::cout << failMessage << std::endl;
      exitValue = EXIT_FAILURE;
    }
  };

  auto resetResults = [&]() {
    for (vtkIdType i = 0; i < TupleNum; i++)
    {
      vtkTypeFloat64 v = 0;
      results->SetTuple(i, &v);
    }
  };

  // Using naive API.
  naivemag3(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  // Reset results to zero.
  resetResults();

  // Using get raw pointer.
  mag3GetPointer(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  // Reset results to zero.
  resetResults();

  // Instantiate with explicit type.
  mag3Explicit<vtkTypeFloat64Array, vtkTypeFloat64Array>(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  // Worker and dispatcher, there are four different types of worker.
  mag3Dispatch1(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  mag3Dispatch2a(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  mag3Dispatch2b(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  mag3Dispatch3(darray, results);
  checkResult();

  if (exitValue == EXIT_SUCCESS)
  {
    std::cout << "All tests passed." << std::endl;
  }
  else
  {
    std::cout << "Some tests failed." << std::endl;
  }
  return exitValue;
}

namespace {

void naivemag3(vtkDataArray* vectors, vtkDataArray* magnitudes)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing naivemag3" << std::endl;
  const vtkIdType numTuples = vectors->GetNumberOfTuples();
  std::array<vtkTypeFloat64, 3> tuple;
  for (vtkIdType t = 0; t < numTuples; ++t)
  {
    vectors->GetTuple(t, tuple.data());
    vtkTypeFloat64 mag = 0.;
    for (vtkTypeFloat64 comp : tuple)
    {
      // std::cout << "comp " << comp << std::endl;
      mag += comp * comp;
    }
    mag = std::sqrt(mag);
    // Assume that space is allocated.
    magnitudes->SetTuple(t, &mag);
  }
}

// GetVoidPointer, mag3GetPointer call mag3Trampoline then call mag3Helper
void mag3GetPointer(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3GetPointer" << std::endl;
  const vtkIdType numTuples = vecs->GetNumberOfTuples();
  // Resolve vecs data type:
  switch (vecs->GetDataType())
  {
    vtkTemplateMacro(mag3Trampoline(
        static_cast<VTK_TT*>(vecs->GetVoidPointer(0)), mags, numTuples));
  default:
    std::cout << "error at mag3GetPointer" << std::endl;
  }
}

template <typename VecType>
void mag3Trampoline(VecType* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags, vtkIdType numTuples)
{
  // Resolve mags data type:
  switch (mags->GetDataType())
  {
    vtkTemplateMacro(mag3Helper(
        vecs, static_cast<VTK_TT*>(mags->GetVoidPointer(0)), numTuples));
  default:
    std::cout << "error at mag3Trampoline" << std::endl;
  }
}

template <typename VecType, typename MagType>
void mag3Helper(VecType* vecs, MagType* mags, vtkIdType numTuples)
{
  for (vtkIdType t = 0; t < numTuples; ++t)
  {
    MagType mag = 0;
    for (size_t i = 0; i < 3; ++i)
    {
      auto v = static_cast<MagType>(*vecs);
      mag += v * v;
      ++vecs;
    }
    *mags = std::sqrt(mag);
    ++mags;
  }
}

template <typename ArrayT1, typename ArrayT2>
void mag3Explicit(ArrayT1* vectors, ArrayT2* magnitudes)

{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3Explicit" << std::endl;
  using VecType = typename ArrayT1::ValueType;
  using MagType = typename ArrayT2::ValueType;

  const vtkIdType numTuples = vectors->GetNumberOfTuples();

  for (vtkIdType t = 0; t < numTuples; ++t)
  {
    MagType mag = 0;
    for (int c = 0; c < 3; ++c)
    {
      VecType comp = vectors->GetTypedComponent(t, c);
      mag += static_cast<MagType>(comp * comp);
    }
    mag = std::sqrt(mag);
    magnitudes->SetTypedComponent(t, 0, mag);
  }
}

void mag3Dispatch1(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3Dispatch1" << std::endl;
  Mag3Worker1 worker1;

  // Create a dispatcher. We want to generate fast-paths for when
  // vecs and mags both use doubles or floats, but fallback to a
  // slow path for any other situation.
  using Dispatcher =
      vtkArrayDispatch::Dispatch2ByValueType<vtkArrayDispatch::Reals,
                                             vtkArrayDispatch::Reals>;

  if (!Dispatcher::Execute(vecs, mags, worker1))
  {
    // Otherwise fallback to using the vtkDataArray API.
    worker1(vecs, mags);
  }
}

void mag3Dispatch2a(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3Dispatch2a" << std::endl;
  Mag3Worker2a worker2a;

  // Create a dispatcher. We want to generate fast-paths for when
  // vecs and mags both use doubles or floats, but fallback to a
  // slow path for any other situation.
  using Dispatcher =
      vtkArrayDispatch::Dispatch2ByValueType<vtkArrayDispatch::Reals,
                                             vtkArrayDispatch::Reals>;

  // Generate optimized workers when mags/vecs are both float|double
  if (!Dispatcher::Execute(vecs, mags, worker2a))
  {
    // Otherwise fallback to using the vtkDataArray API.
    worker2a(vecs, mags);
  }
}

void mag3Dispatch2b(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3Dispatch2b" << std::endl;
  Mag3Worker2b worker2b;

  // Create a dispatcher. We want to generate fast-paths for when
  // vecs and mags both use doubles or floats, but fallback to a
  // slow path for any other situation.
  using Dispatcher =
      vtkArrayDispatch::Dispatch2ByValueType<vtkArrayDispatch::Reals,
                                             vtkArrayDispatch::Reals>;

  // Generate optimized workers when mags/vecs are both float|double
  if (!Dispatcher::Execute(vecs, mags, worker2b))
  {
    // Otherwise fallback to using the vtkDataArray API.
    worker2b(vecs, mags);
  }
}

void mag3Dispatch3(vtkDataArray* vecs, vtkDataArray* mags)
{
  std::cout << "--- Testing mag3Dispatch3" << std::endl;
  Mag3Worker3 worker3;

  // Create a dispatcher. We want to generate fast-paths for when
  // vecs and mags both use doubles or floats, but fallback to a
  // slow path for any other situation.
  using Dispatcher =
      vtkArrayDispatch::Dispatch2ByValueType<vtkArrayDispatch::Reals,
                                             vtkArrayDispatch::Reals>;

  // Generate optimized workers when mags/vecs are both float|double
  if (!Dispatcher::Execute(vecs, mags, worker3))
  {
    // Otherwise fallback to using the vtkDataArray API.
    worker3(vecs, mags);
  }
}

bool verifyResults(vtkDataArray* magnitudes,
                   std::vector<std::string> const& expectedMagnitudes)
{
  std::vector<std::string> actualMagnitudes;
  auto magRange = vtk::DataArrayValueRange<1>(magnitudes);
  for (const auto& magTuple : magRange)
  {
    std::ostringstream os;
    os.setf(ios::fixed, ios::floatfield);
    os << std::setprecision(6) << magTuple;
    actualMagnitudes.push_back(os.str());
  }

  return (std::equal(actualMagnitudes.begin(), actualMagnitudes.end(),
                     expectedMagnitudes.begin()));
}

} // namespace

CMakeLists.txt

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.3 FATAL_ERROR)

project(ForLoop)

find_package(VTK COMPONENTS 
  vtkCommonCore
  QUIET
)

if (NOT VTK_FOUND)
  message("Skipping ForLoop: ${VTK_NOT_FOUND_MESSAGE}")
  return ()
endif()
message (STATUS "VTK_VERSION: ${VTK_VERSION}")
if (VTK_VERSION VERSION_LESS "8.90.0")
  # old system
  include(${VTK_USE_FILE})
  add_executable(ForLoop MACOSX_BUNDLE ForLoop.cxx )
  target_link_libraries(ForLoop PRIVATE ${VTK_LIBRARIES})
else ()
  # include all components
  add_executable(ForLoop MACOSX_BUNDLE ForLoop.cxx )
  target_link_libraries(ForLoop PRIVATE ${VTK_LIBRARIES})
  # vtk_module_autoinit is needed
  vtk_module_autoinit(
    TARGETS ForLoop
    MODULES ${VTK_LIBRARIES}
    )
endif ()

Download and Build ForLoop

Click here to download ForLoop and its CMakeLists.txt file. Once the tarball ForLoop.tar has been downloaded and extracted,

cd ForLoop/build

If VTK is installed:

cmake ..

If VTK is not installed but compiled on your system, you will need to specify the path to your VTK build:

cmake -DVTK_DIR:PATH=/home/me/vtk_build ..

Build the project:

make

and run it:

./ForLoop

WINDOWS USERS

Be sure to add the VTK bin directory to your path. This will resolve the VTK dll's at run time.