# Performance

We implemented various techniques to boost the performance of HyperFormula. In some cases, turning them on or off might increase the performance of your app. Below we provide a number of tips on how to speed it up.


If you are planning to use VLOOKUP or MATCH heavily in your app, you may consider enabling the useColumnIndex flag in the HyperFormula configuration. It will increase memory usage but can significantly improve the performance of these two functions, especially when running on unsorted or very large data sets. The column index will not be used despite the option useColumnIndex enabled when using wildcards or regular expressions.

Leaving this option disabled will cause the engine to use binary search when dealing with sorted data, and the naive approach otherwise. However, binary search will not be used if the size of the data being searched is below a given threshold, which can be customized using the binarySearchThreshold option in the configuration.

# Address mapping strategies

HyperFormula uses two approaches to store the mapping of cell addresses in order to optimize memory usage. The choice of the strategy is made independently for each sheet. The chooseAddressMappingPolicy option allows for changing the way the strategy will be chosen.

You may use one of three built-in policies:

  • AlwaysDense – uses dense mapping for each sheet. This policy is particularly useful when the spreadsheet is a densely filled rectangle.
  • AlwaysSparse – uses sparse mapping for each sheet. This approach is useful when in your spreadsheet/dataset there are relatively few cells filled, but located very far from each other.
  • DenseSparseChooseBasedOnThreshold – the choice is made based on the fill ratio of the sheet. Let the engine choose the best strategy for you.

# Suspending automatic recalculations

By default, HyperFormula recalculates formulas after every change. However, due to the fact that we store the graph of dependencies between cells in the sheet, we recalculate only the cells affected by the update.

Sometimes, a simple change can cause recalculation of a large part of the sheet, e.g. when the modified cell is at the very beginning of the dependency chain or when there are many volatile functions in the worksheet. In such a case you may want to postpone the recalculation.

The first option is to call suspendEvaluation before making changes and resumeEvaluation at a convenient moment.

The second option is to pass the callback function with multiple operations to a batch function. Recalculation will be suspended before performing operations and resumed after them. In cases where you perform operations which may not cause a recalculation but only change the shape of the worksheet, like addRows, removeRows, or moveColumns , we do not recommend suspending recalculation, as this may have a slightly negative impact on performance.

# GPU acceleration

Some formulas, e.g. MMULT, MAXPOOL, MEDIANPOOL, or TRANSPOSE, benefit from GPU acceleration. Thanks to the cores running thousands of threads at once, they calculate the input data sets up to 9x faster than when using the CPU. According to our observations the bigger the data set is, the bigger the performance gain.

For small data sets, the difference between the CPU and GPU is non-significant.

See how to enable GPU acceleration →

# Benchmarks

HyperFormula's performance has been tested on different devices, operating systems, and browsers. The table below presents the result of tests in which the engine multiplies two matrices of 2000 cells, each using the MMULT formula. The main objective of this benchmark is to show a significant difference in performance between the CPU and GPU.

The tests were run on three different physical machines with the following specifications:

  • MacBook Pro (2015) - 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3, Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB, macOS Mojave, Chrome.
  • Lenovo ThinkBook (2019) - Intel Core i5 8gen 8265U 1.6 - 3.9 GHz, 8 GB RAM DDR4 2400 MHz, Intel UHD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Pro, Firefox.
  • Huawei Mate 20 (2018) - Octa-core (2x2.6 GHz 2x Cortex-A76 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55), 4 GB RAM HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, Android Pie (9), Chrome.

The resulting times are returned in seconds.

Number of rows 2000 2000
Number of columns 2000 2000
Number of cells 4 million 4 million
Number of repeats 100 100
MacBook Pro
Average total time 2.921 18.570
Standard deviation 0.117 1.981
Lenovo ThinkBook
Average total time 3.041 10.543
Standard deviation 0.138 0.045
Huawei Mate 20
Average total time 6.611 40.166
Standard deviation 0.394 0.594