A very fast way to (i) concatenate and (ii) calculate the difference of elements?

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A very fast way to (i) concatenate and (ii) calculate the difference of elements ?
Here below my case / example:
a1 = datetime([
'2022-10-27 00:22:50.000'
'2022-10-27 05:29:45.000'
'2022-10-27 05:32:19.400'
'2022-10-27 05:36:44.100'
'2022-10-27 05:39:26.600'
'2022-10-27 05:43:18.200'
'2022-10-27 05:49:17.400'
'2022-10-27 05:55:27.300'
'2022-10-27 05:58:07.000'
'2022-10-27 06:17:13.800'
'2022-10-27 06:41:28.700'
'2022-10-27 07:03:06.000'
'2022-10-27 07:09:49.800'
'2022-10-27 07:17:39.700'
'2022-10-27 07:35:09.000'
'2022-10-27 07:42:33.600'
'2022-10-27 07:46:50.500'
'2022-10-27 08:07:02.700'
'2022-10-27 08:26:29.600'
'2022-10-27 08:45:03.500'
'2022-10-27 08:48:09.700'
'2022-10-27 08:53:57.000'
'2022-10-27 08:59:43.400'
'2022-10-27 09:13:24.100'
'2022-10-27 09:19:25.000'
'2022-10-27 09:26:35.000'
'2022-10-27 09:29:54.000'
'2022-10-27 09:46:45.700'
'2022-10-27 10:10:59.900'
'2022-10-27 10:29:04.600'
'2022-10-27 10:31:50.100'
'2022-10-27 10:37:45.300'
'2022-10-27 10:42:35.800'
'2022-10-27 10:58:42.300'
'2022-10-27 11:03:48.900'
'2022-10-27 11:10:44.700'
'2022-10-27 11:13:11.100'
'2022-10-27 11:31:25.100'
'2022-10-27 11:56:01.200'
'2022-10-27 12:19:25.300'
'2022-10-27 12:25:12.500'
'2022-10-27 12:30:16.900'
'2022-10-27 12:49:19.100'
'2022-10-27 12:55:42.700'
'2022-10-27 12:58:18.100'
'2022-10-27 13:16:06.300'
'2022-10-27 14:00:44.700'
'2022-10-27 14:04:14.200'
'2022-10-27 14:11:54.600'
'2022-10-27 14:17:10.000'
'2022-10-27 14:42:03.300'
'2022-10-27 14:45:22.100'
'2022-10-27 15:02:07.900'
'2022-10-27 15:25:39.600'
'2022-10-27 15:44:58.300'
'2022-10-27 15:48:35.800'
'2022-10-27 15:54:23.100'
'2022-10-27 16:00:17.300'
'2022-10-27 16:19:23.700'
'2022-10-27 16:27:30.800'
'2022-10-27 16:31:30.600'
'2022-10-27 16:52:09.700'
'2022-10-27 17:16:08.800'
'2022-10-27 18:01:39.400'
'2022-10-27 18:08:24.800'
'2022-10-27 18:17:44.500'
'2022-10-27 18:25:02.500'
'2022-10-27 18:27:45.700'
'2022-10-27 18:48:32.000'
'2022-10-27 19:02:01.700'
'2022-10-27 19:24:08.300'
'2022-10-27 19:30:01.400'
'2022-10-27 19:43:02.200'
'2022-10-27 19:48:50.300'
'2022-10-27 19:55:41.900'
'2022-10-27 19:58:23.700'
'2022-10-27 20:17:15.800'
'2022-10-27 20:28:47.600'
'2022-10-27 20:49:36.900'
'2022-10-27 20:53:02.700'
'2022-10-27 21:07:12.100'
'2022-10-27 21:09:47.800'
'2022-10-27 21:50:42.300'
'2022-10-27 22:07:34.100'
'2022-10-27 22:09:18.800']);
a2 = [25
82
34
9
75
76
10
33
81
26
25
34
9
75
10
33
81
26
25
82
34
9
75
76
10
33
81
26
25
81
34
9
75
76
10
33
81
26
25
34
9
75
10
33
81
26
82
34
9
75
33
81
26
25
82
34
9
75
10
33
81
26
25
34
9
10
33
81
26
25
34
9
76
10
33
81
26
25
82
34
33
81
34
33
81];
a = table(a1,a2,'VariableNames',{'time','value'});
% Any way that could be faster than this one ?
tic
diff_times = diff([a.time vertcat(a.time(2:end),datetime('0001-01-01 00:00:00.000'))],1,2);
diff_times(end) = NaN;
toc
Elapsed time is 0.091898 seconds.

Accepted Answer

Jan
Jan on 18 Nov 2022
Edited: Jan on 18 Nov 2022
a1 = datetime([
'2022-10-27 00:22:50.000'
'2022-10-27 05:29:45.000'
'2022-10-27 05:32:19.400'
'2022-10-27 05:36:44.100'
'2022-10-27 05:39:26.600'
'2022-10-27 05:43:18.200'
'2022-10-27 05:49:17.400'
'2022-10-27 05:55:27.300'
'2022-10-27 05:58:07.000'
'2022-10-27 06:17:13.800'
'2022-10-27 06:41:28.700'
'2022-10-27 07:03:06.000'
'2022-10-27 07:09:49.800'
'2022-10-27 07:17:39.700'
'2022-10-27 07:35:09.000'
'2022-10-27 07:42:33.600'
'2022-10-27 07:46:50.500'
'2022-10-27 08:07:02.700'
'2022-10-27 08:26:29.600'
'2022-10-27 08:45:03.500'
'2022-10-27 08:48:09.700'
'2022-10-27 08:53:57.000'
'2022-10-27 08:59:43.400'
'2022-10-27 09:13:24.100'
'2022-10-27 09:19:25.000'
'2022-10-27 09:26:35.000'
'2022-10-27 09:29:54.000'
'2022-10-27 09:46:45.700'
'2022-10-27 10:10:59.900'
'2022-10-27 10:29:04.600'
'2022-10-27 10:31:50.100'
'2022-10-27 10:37:45.300'
'2022-10-27 10:42:35.800'
'2022-10-27 10:58:42.300'
'2022-10-27 11:03:48.900'
'2022-10-27 11:10:44.700'
'2022-10-27 11:13:11.100'
'2022-10-27 11:31:25.100'
'2022-10-27 11:56:01.200'
'2022-10-27 12:19:25.300'
'2022-10-27 12:25:12.500'
'2022-10-27 12:30:16.900'
'2022-10-27 12:49:19.100'
'2022-10-27 12:55:42.700'
'2022-10-27 12:58:18.100'
'2022-10-27 13:16:06.300'
'2022-10-27 14:00:44.700'
'2022-10-27 14:04:14.200'
'2022-10-27 14:11:54.600'
'2022-10-27 14:17:10.000'
'2022-10-27 14:42:03.300'
'2022-10-27 14:45:22.100'
'2022-10-27 15:02:07.900'
'2022-10-27 15:25:39.600'
'2022-10-27 15:44:58.300'
'2022-10-27 15:48:35.800'
'2022-10-27 15:54:23.100'
'2022-10-27 16:00:17.300'
'2022-10-27 16:19:23.700'
'2022-10-27 16:27:30.800'
'2022-10-27 16:31:30.600'
'2022-10-27 16:52:09.700'
'2022-10-27 17:16:08.800'
'2022-10-27 18:01:39.400'
'2022-10-27 18:08:24.800'
'2022-10-27 18:17:44.500'
'2022-10-27 18:25:02.500'
'2022-10-27 18:27:45.700'
'2022-10-27 18:48:32.000'
'2022-10-27 19:02:01.700'
'2022-10-27 19:24:08.300'
'2022-10-27 19:30:01.400'
'2022-10-27 19:43:02.200'
'2022-10-27 19:48:50.300'
'2022-10-27 19:55:41.900'
'2022-10-27 19:58:23.700'
'2022-10-27 20:17:15.800'
'2022-10-27 20:28:47.600'
'2022-10-27 20:49:36.900'
'2022-10-27 20:53:02.700'
'2022-10-27 21:07:12.100'
'2022-10-27 21:09:47.800'
'2022-10-27 21:50:42.300'
'2022-10-27 22:07:34.100'
'2022-10-27 22:09:18.800']);
a2 = rand(85, 1); % This value is not required for the question
a = table(a1, a2, 'VariableNames', {'time', 'value'});
tic
diff_times = diff([a.time vertcat(a.time(2:end),datetime('0001-01-01 00:00:00.000'))],1,2);
diff_times(end) = NaN;
toc
Elapsed time is 0.032950 seconds.
% Easier and faster:
tic
diff_times_2 = [diff(a.time); NaN];
toc
Elapsed time is 0.005685 seconds.
isequaln(diff_times, diff_times_2) % Same result:
ans = logical
1
You have the a vector x and want to determine the difference between neighboring elements. Then diff is the perfect solution already. Apply it directly. You code is slower because it uses an indirection:
diff([x, [x(2:end); 0]], 1, 2)
% Is the same as:
x - [x(2:end); 0]
% is the same as:
[diff(x); 0]
  2 Comments
Jan
Jan on 18 Nov 2022
You are welcome. It took me some time to understand, how you have used diff, because it was the correct command for this job. For future questions I suggest, that you explain the purpose of a command also. Most of all, the English sentence, which describes the procedure exactly, is almost the Matlab code already. :-)

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