The Essentials ofComputer(computer) 478

The Essentials ofComputer(computer) 478 - The geometric...

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The geometric mean bears out our intuition concerning the relative perform- ance of System A and System C. By taking the ratios of their geometric means, we see that System A gives a much poorer result than System B. However, the geometric mean is not linear. Although the ratio of the geometric means of Sys- tem A to System C is 2.43, this does not imply that System C is 2.43 times as fast as System A. This fact is evident by the raw data. So anyone who buys System C thinking that it will give double the performance of System A is sure to be disap- pointed. Unlike the weighted arithmetic mean, the geometric mean gives us absolutely no help in formulating a statistical expectation of the actual behavior of the systems. A second problem with the geometric mean is that small values have a dis- proportionate influence in the overall result. For example, if the makers of Sys- tem C improve the performance of the fastest (probably simplest) program in the
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