Using Finch with Other Languages

You can use Finch in other languages through interfaces like julia.h or PyJulia, but sparse arrays require special considerations for converting between 0-indexed and 1-indexed arrays.

0-Index Compatibility

Julia, Matlab, etc. index arrays starting at 1. C, python, etc. index starting at 0. In a dense array, we can simply subtract one from the index, and in fact, this is what Julia will does under the hood when you pass a vector between C to Julia.

However, for sparse array formats, it's not just a matter of subtracting one from the index, as the internal lists of indices, positions, etc all start from zero as well. To remedy the situation, Finch leverages PlusOneVector and CIndex.

PlusOneVector

PlusOneVector is a view that adds 1 on access to an underlying 0-Index vector. This allows to use Python/NumPy vector, without copying, as a mutable index array.

julia> v = Vector([1, 0, 2, 3])
4-element Vector{Int64}:
 1
 0
 2
 3
julia> obov = PlusOneVector(v)
4-element PlusOneVector{Int64}:
 2
 1
 3
 4
julia> obov[1] += 8
10
julia> obov
4-element PlusOneVector{Int64}:
 10
  1
  3
  4
julia> obov.data
4-element Vector{Int64}:
 9
 0
 2
 3

CIndex

Warning

CIndex is no longer recommended - use PlusOneVector instead.

Finch also interoperates with the CIndices package, which exports a type called CIndex. The internal representation of CIndex is one less than the value it represents, and we can use CIndex as the index or position type of a Finch array to represent arrays in other languages.

For example, if idx_c, ptr_c, and val_c are the internal arrays of a CSC matrix in a zero-indexed language, we can represent that matrix as a one-indexed Finch array without copying by calling

julia> m = 4; n = 3; ptr_c = [0, 3, 3, 5]; idx_c = [1, 2, 3, 0, 2]; val_c = [1.1, 2.2, 3.3, 4.4, 5.5];

julia> ptr_jl = reinterpret(CIndex{Int}, ptr_c)
4-element reinterpret(CIndex{Int64}, ::Vector{Int64}):
 1
 4
 4
 6
julia> idx_jl = reinterpret(CIndex{Int}, idx_c)
5-element reinterpret(CIndex{Int64}, ::Vector{Int64}):
 2
 3
 4
 1
 3
julia> A = Tensor(Dense(SparseList{CIndex{Int}}(Element{0.0, Float64, CIndex{Int}}(val_c), m, ptr_jl, idx_jl), n))
Dense [:,1:3]
├─ [:, 1]: SparseList (0.0) [1:CIndex{Int64}(4)]
│  ├─ [CIndex{Int64}(2)]: 1.1
│  ├─ [CIndex{Int64}(3)]: 2.2
│  └─ [CIndex{Int64}(4)]: 3.3
├─ [:, 2]: SparseList (0.0) [1:CIndex{Int64}(4)]
└─ [:, 3]: SparseList (0.0) [1:CIndex{Int64}(4)]
   ├─ [CIndex{Int64}(1)]: 4.4
   └─ [CIndex{Int64}(3)]: 5.5

We can also convert between representations by copying to or from CIndex fibers.