Optimization in Python — Peephole

Optimization in Python — Peephole

A brief introduction to Python’s Peephole optimization technique

Before we dive into the details of peephole optimization, let us try to understand how Python code is executed. As the Python program runs, source code gets compiled into a set of instructions called bytecode. This intermediate bytecode is stored with .pyc extension under __pycache__ folder which is then executed by the Python interpreter. This bytecode or .pyc files contain a "faster" or "optimized" version of the source code.

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The compiled code object is accessible via the attribute __code__ on the function and carries a few important attributes. Here we are interested in co_consts. We will understand these when we go thru the examples below.

  • co_consts returns a tuple of any literals that occur in the function body
  • co_varnames returns a tuple containing the names of any local variables used in the function body
  • co_names returns a tuple of any non-local names referenced in the function body

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