just quick post, because I was working to polish my min heap and checked about different swap techniques.

From my experience I know there are two different versions to swap two integers in an array.

- XOR swap algorithm
- Swap using temporary variable

Since swapping is used pretty much everywhere, I decided to micro benchmark these against each other using Caliper.

I've seen many people using the XOR algorithm lately, I don't know if they know that this is inefficient. Many people seem to do not care about this, because bitshifting makes them kinda look cool probably?

I've seen many people using the XOR algorithm lately, I don't know if they know that this is inefficient. Many people seem to do not care about this, because bitshifting makes them kinda look cool probably?

However, here is my code so we can sort out the performance of both pretty easy:

public class SwapBenchmark extends SimpleBenchmark { @Param({ "10", "100", "1000", "10000", "100000", "1000000", "10000000", "100000000" }) private int size; @Param SwapType type; public enum SwapType { XOR, TMP }; int[] array; @Override protected void setUp() throws Exception { array = new int[size]; Random r = new Random(); for (int i = 0; i < size; i++) { array[i] = r.nextInt(); } } public void timeSwap(int reps) { for (int rep = 0; rep < reps; rep++) { int sum = 0; for (int i = 0; i < size; i++) { final int x = i; final int y = size - i - 1; if (type == SwapType.XOR) { array[x] ^= array[y]; array[x] ^= (array[y] ^= array[x]); sum += i; } else { int tmpIndex = array[x]; array[x] = array[y]; array[y] = tmpIndex; sum += i; } } System.out.println(sum); } } public static void main(String[] args) { Runner.main(SwapBenchmark.class, args); } }

The result isn't very exciting, I used my Nehalem i7 with 3,3GHZ and latest Java7u7:

size type us linear runtime 10 XOR 2,90 = 10 TMP 2,84 = 100 XOR 3,06 = 100 TMP 2,85 = 1000 XOR 3,92 = 1000 TMP 3,52 = 10000 XOR 20,21 = 10000 TMP 14,22 = 100000 XOR 183,33 = 100000 TMP 118,57 = 1000000 XOR 1822,98 = 1000000 TMP 1192,19 = 10000000 XOR 19401,65 == 10000000 TMP 13266,78 == 100000000 XOR 194173,73 ============================== 100000000 TMP 134364,67 ====================

The TMP swap is much more efficient in every case. Why is this?

Wikipedia states the following:

There is actually nothing more to add.

Even if it looks cool to do a bit-shifting trick ;)

Wikipedia states the following:

On modern CPU architectures, the XOR technique is considerably slower than using a temporary variable to do swapping. One reason is that modern CPUs strive to execute instructions in parallel via instruction pipelines. In the XOR technique, the inputs to each operation depend on the results of the previous operation, so they must be executed in strictly sequential order. If efficiency is of tremendous concern, it is advised to test the speeds of both the XOR technique and temporary variable swapping on the target architecture.

There is actually nothing more to add.

**So please don't do any pre-mature optimization!**

Even if it looks cool to do a bit-shifting trick ;)