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Row-wise vs column-wise traversal of matrix
  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 21 Dec, 2020

Two common ways of traversing a matrix are row-major-order and column-major-order. 
Row Major Order : When matrix is accessed row by row. 
Column Major Order : When matrix is accessed column by column.
Examples: 
 

Input : mat[][] = {{1, 2, 3}, 
                  {4, 5, 6}, 
                  {7, 8, 9}}
Output : Row-wise: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
         Col-wise : 1 4 7 2 5 8 3 6 9

 

Difference: If we see according to time complexity, both lead to O(n2), but when it comes to cache level one of the orders access will be faster as compare to other one. It depends on the language we are using. Like in C, store matrix in row major form so while accessing the i+1th element after ith, most probably it will lead to a hit, which will further reduce the time of program. 
Following codes are showing the time difference in row major and column major access. 
 

C++




// C program showing time difference
// in row major and column major access
#include <stdio.h>
#include <time.h>
 
// taking MAX 10000 so that time difference
// can be shown
#define MAX 10000
 
int arr[MAX][MAX] = {0};
 
void rowMajor() {
 
  int i, j;
 
  // accessing element row wise
  for (i = 0; i < MAX; i++) {
    for (j = 0; j < MAX; j++) {
      arr[i][j]++;
    }
  }
}
 
void colMajor() {
 
  int i, j;
 
  // accessing element column wise
  for (i = 0; i < MAX; i++) {
    for (j = 0; j < MAX; j++) {
      arr[j][i]++;
    }
  }
}
 
// driver code
int main() {
  int i, j;
 
  // Time taken by row major order
  clock_t t = clock();
  rowMajor();
  t = clock() - t;
  printf("Row major access time :%f s\n",
                t / (float)CLOCKS_PER_SEC);
 
  // Time taken by column major order
  t = clock();
  colMajor();
  t = clock() - t;
  printf("Column major access time :%f s\n",
               t / (float)CLOCKS_PER_SEC);
  return 0;
}

Java




// Java program showing time difference
// in row major and column major access
import java.time.Duration;
import java.time.Instant;
import java.util.*;
 
class GFG
{
 
// taking MAX 10000 so that time difference
// can be shown
static int MAX= 10000;
 
static int [][]arr = new int[MAX][MAX];
 
static void rowMajor()
{
 
    int i, j;
     
    // accessing element row wise
    for (i = 0; i < MAX; i++)
    {
        for (j = 0; j < MAX; j++)
        {
        arr[i][j]++;
        }
    }
}
 
static void colMajor()
{
 
    int i, j;
     
    // accessing element column wise
    for (i = 0; i < MAX; i++)
    {
        for (j = 0; j < MAX; j++)
        {
        arr[j][i]++;
        }
    }
}
 
// Driver code
public static void main(String[] args)
{
 
    // Time taken by row major order
    Instant start = Instant.now();
    rowMajor();
    Instant end = Instant.now();
        System.out.println("Row major access time : "+
                    Duration.between(start, end));
     
    // Time taken by column major order
    start = Instant.now();
    colMajor();
    end = Instant.now();
    System.out.printf("Column major access time : "+
                    Duration.between(start, end));
}
}
 
// This code is contributed by 29AjayKumar

Python3




# Python3 program showing time difference
# in row major and column major access
 
# taking MAX 10000 so that time difference
# can be shown
MAX = 1000
from time import clock
 
arr = [[ 0 for i in range(MAX)] for i in range(MAX)]
 
def rowMajor():
    global arr
     
    # accessing element row wise
    for i in range(MAX):
        for j in range(MAX):
            arr[i][j] += 1
 
def colMajor():
    global arr
 
    # accessing element column wise
    for i in range(MAX):
        for j in range(MAX):
            arr[j][i] += 1
 
# Driver code
if __name__ == '__main__':
 
    # Time taken by row major order
    t = clock()
    rowMajor();
    t = clock() - t
    print("Row major access time :{:.2f} s".format(t))
 
    # Time taken by column major order
    t = clock()
    colMajor()
    t = clock() - t
    print("Column major access time :{:.2f} s".format(t))
 
# This code is contributed by mohit kumar 29
Output: 
Row major access time :0.492000 s
Column major access time :1.621000 s

 




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