Call to a C++ Dll function : SLOW

Hi,

I have created a function F1 in a C++ DLL among many other functions.

When executed simply from another C++ program, F1 runs normally with logical duration (about 1.8 seconds on my PC)

When executed from another, more ambiguous, program i.e. a C# application managing a C++ Dll which itself is calling my function F1, there are 2 scenarios :

1. if run in parallel processing (OpenMP) : 8.2 seconds
2. if run without parallel processing : 4 seconds.

In both cases, it takes a longer duration for F1 to execute.

For info, I am using the std::clock_t tool to measure time.


My question is : WHY this difference in behavior ?
Is it due to a DLL calling another DLL and all managed by a C# program ? knowing that many other functions are called the same way ?
Or might it be due to another reason ?

Thank you for your feedback.
apparently the 'marshalling' system is doing unnecessary copies of data and bloating of cpu types into classes (eg bool) and such. There may be some options under that. It may be possible to convert your inputs and result to a single thing (like a large string) so it only has to marshal one entity (but then you need to add code to handle the I/O part yourself). It may also be possible to use the 'managed' c++ sublanguage as a go-between.

basically, its the compiler/tools 'helping you' that is slowing it down.

Maybe read this
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/dotnet/performance-considerations-for-interop-cpp?view=vs-2019
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Thank you for your reply.

I would like however, to stress the fact that the function F1 is in C++ and is called by another C++ parent DLL.
The time stamp is also only in C++.
So the whole time consumption is occuring in C++ actually.
I mentioned C# just to say that those C++ Dlls are working within a larger scale application.


Here is a sample code :

void F_parent() // IN C++ parent DLL
{
...
std::clock_t tstart = clock(); // start of clock

F1(); // Call to F1 which is a C++ DLL

std::clock_t tend = clock () ; // end of clock
cout << tend - tstart << endl;
.....
}



Any idea about that ?
Thanks again !
It seems silly, and I'm not even sure if it's possible since I'm not a Windows guy, but is it possible the DLL is being loaded each time the function is called?
Not from what you are showing. Any chance the c++ parent is loading and unloading the child dll every time it is called, and that in a loop or something? Or is F1 doing something slow every time it is called, like grabbing dynamic memory and releasing it, or whatever -- it would have to be something that can be optimized in a local program but not across the library boundary, and I don't know that level of the linker/compiler optimize.

I know that isnt very helpful. I would focus on whether it is doing dll load/unload first.
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I get your point. But I do not have any idea about how to check whether a DLL is loaded and unloaded . Any tool to check/optimize this issue ?
I do not remember. I know there is a way to see that in the debugger or somehow but I can't recall how; you will need to web-search that. All I know is, its doable.

Look at this page, maybe that listdlls approach?
What you need is some sort of library from M$ that lets you see what you have loaded in your own process. May have to dig around to find something like that, but there should be something out there.

a starting point or two?

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/psapi/enumerating-all-modules-for-a-process

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/toolhelp/tool-help-functions?redirectedfrom=MSDN
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thank you for ur help. I will check
How many times are you calling F1()? If you call it once then the time difference seems unusual. If you call it 100 million times, and it does something simple, then the overhead of using the DLL might becomes significant.
I call it 3 times only !
There's no real "overhead" to calling a dll function besides the loading of the dll in the first place.

Are you in control of the DLL that calls your DLL?
The calling DLL is responsible for loading your DLL, presumably when the calling DLL inits.
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Yes I am in control of both DLLs but can't figure out where to look or what to do.
I add to the previous that my child DLL is called a lot of times for many other functions.
But the only function that takes a drastic amount of time if F1().
Do you load the second dll in the first dll's initialization routine? Do you grab the function pointer at that point, too?
I have some updates :

I just tried to compile the child DLL in the same solution as the parent DLL and project.
I ran the program :

The first run gave me the real F1() time of execution i.e. 1.8 seconds on my PC !!

Then, my application crashed. I launched it again and ran a second time, time is back to 8 seconds instead !

Seems like there is some linking that is badly done .. But what did actually make the first run go normally fast and then not, that is a mystery still.. So does, the program's crash
well, you have to unravel why it crashed first, then figure out once it is stable what the real times are. A time given on a run that crashed has no value.

3 calls ... is very low. Even if it unloaded and reloaded the library that should not take 6 extra seconds to do. Hmm.

you can try static link the library to the parent but that means change the child required recompile of parent, a little ugly. It is manageable, though: you make the parent the 'project' and it would manage compiling both the parent and child together, making sure you get what you need when you have to rebuild.
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I will try a few stuff as you suggested and get back asap.
Thank you anyways
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