Nov 4 – 8, 2019
Adelaide Convention Centre
Australia/Adelaide timezone

Recent developments in histogram libraries

Nov 7, 2019, 11:15 AM
Riverbank R2 (Adelaide Convention Centre)

Riverbank R2

Adelaide Convention Centre

Oral Track 5 – Software Development Track 5 – Software Development


Henry Fredrick Schreiner (University of Cincinnati (US))


Boost.Histogram, a header-only C++14 library that provides multi-dimensional histograms and profiles, is now available in Boost-1.70. It is extensible, fast, and uses modern C++ features. Using template meta-programming, the most efficient code path for any given configuration is automatically selected. The library includes key features designed for the particle physics community, such as optional under- and overflow bins, weighted increments, reductions, growing axes, thread-safe filling, and memory-efficient counters with high-dynamic range.

Python bindings for Boost.Histogram are being developed in the Scikit-HEP project to provide a fast, easy-to-install package as a backend for other Python libraries and for advanced users to manipulate histograms. Versatile and efficient histogram filling, effective manipulation, multithreading support, and other features make this a powerful tool. This library has also driven package distribution efforts in Scikit-HEP, allowing binary packages hosted on PyPI to be available for a very wide variety of platforms.

Two other libraries fill out the remainder of the Scikit-HEP Python histogramming effort. Aghast is a library designed to provide conversions between different forms of histograms, enabling interaction between histogram libraries, often without an extra copy in memory. This enables a user to make a histogram in one library and then save it in another form, such as saving a Boost.Histogram in ROOT. And Hist is a library providing friendly, analyst-targeted syntax and shortcuts for quick manipulations and fast plotting using these two libraries.

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Primary authors

Henry Fredrick Schreiner (University of Cincinnati (US)) Dr Hans Peter Dembinski (Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg) Jim Pivarski (Princeton University)

Presentation materials