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Why does it takes so long to capture the frames and store them in memory?

asked 2016-07-07 13:57:04 -0500

alfageme gravatar image

updated 2016-07-09 05:10:05 -0500

pklab gravatar image

So, I'm writting a program that loads a video in memory to determine if it's unstabilized. I realized the program was taking way too long to execute, so I put a timer on my code:

const clock_t begin = std::clock();

int frame_count = 0;
bool should_stop = false;

std::vector <cv::Mat> frames;

    cv::Mat frame;
    cap >> frame;


    if (frame.empty())
        should_stop = true;

std::cout << "Time: " << float( std::clock () - begin ) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC << std::endl;

But this prints times around ~0.70s as opposed as what I observe and measure with the time command:

$ time ./program ~/Desktop/video.mp4
Time: 0.700728s
./program ~/Desktop/video.mp4  0,56s user 0,19s system 2% cpu 36,409 total

Any ideas on why this is happening?

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If you combine user and system time, then you got the exact same value. BTW depending on the amount of frames, 0.7 seconds is quite fast I think ...

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2016-07-08 04:28:03 -0500 )edit

The thing is that the total time the program takes to run and return to the shell is 36,409s, leading me to think, the in-code timer measure is not right. And we're talking about ~200 frames, I agree 0.7s will be fast enough, but instead it runs in about 40s!

alfageme gravatar imagealfageme ( 2016-07-08 13:32:07 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-07-09 05:07:10 -0500

pklab gravatar image

updated 2016-07-11 14:09:08 -0500

Starting with your clocks should be 1st and last instruction, we all should remember that std::clock() returns the approximate __processor time used by the process__ check the doc. If the process doesn't use the processor than std::clock() doesn't advance, this is the case when you have multi threading or a lot of I/O or sleep. In addiction std::clock() shouldn't depends so much from overall system load.

Test it with a simple std::cout << "Press a Key"; std::cin.get();

The processor time returned by std::clock() is always the same despite of needed time to press the key !!!

NOTE: THIS IS NOT TRUE ON VS 2013. see this. (Really I've same behaviour also with Win764+gcc version 5.1.0 tdm64-1)

Because it looks you are using *nix OS, in your example:

  • 0.7s is the processor time consumed by your process.
  • 40s is the real time elapsed between process start and stop

If you want to measure real time elapsed between 2 events please refer to so called wall clock.

Please note that you can measure time elapsed with OpenCV using cv::getTickCount() and cv::getTickFrequency()

The code below compares processor time, wall time and elapsed time measured with OpenCV

double procTime,wallTime,cvTime;

clock_t clk0,clk1;
std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::time_point chrono0,chrono1;
double cv0,cv1;

clk0 = std::clock();
chrono0 = std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
cv0 = (double)cv::getTickCount();

// do something ...

clk1 = std::clock();
chrono1 = std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
cv1 = (double)cv::getTickCount();

cout << endl << "Processor time (ms) "  
     << 1000.0*float( clk1 - clk0) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC;

     << endl << "Wall time (ms): "
     << std::chrono::duration<double, std::milli>(chron1 - chron0).count();

     << endl << "Wall time using OpenCV (ms):"
     << cvTime = 1000.0*(t1 - t0) / cv::getTickFrequency();
     << endl;
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I tried it using the std::clock() functions again and taking into account the declaration of the VideoCapture object and the releases/memory frees, but It keeps giving me the same number D: But the thing is, if I switch to openCV time measure functions, it gives a much more realistic approximation to the run time. Any clue on why the standard library fails at this point?

alfageme gravatar imagealfageme ( 2016-07-11 10:37:53 -0500 )edit

@alfageme please check my new answer

pklab gravatar imagepklab ( 2016-07-11 14:10:58 -0500 )edit
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Asked: 2016-07-07 13:57:04 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 11 '16