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Which is the best way to present benchmarking results? I have to choose between tables and line plots. In my opinion tables require less space, but the speed-up is less clear and hence I should even put a speed-up column. On the other hand, line plots are more intuitive, but I even have to add a legend and in my opinion they occupy more space and do not provide the precise results for the benchmakrs (even if I think that the order of magnitude of the different results is more relevant).

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I agree that tables seem to be more effective in conveying the information you have. In order to make the speedup clear, you can add a column to indicate the relative speed:

Method         Runtime [s]       Relative runtime
-------------------------------------------------
classic        134               7.9
fancy 1        23                1.4
fancy 2        17                1

You could scale to the fastest or slowest depending in which direction you want to put your argument in the text, and you could use logarithmic scaling if the benchmarking results are orders of magnitudes apart.

Hans Mittelmann's simplex LP benchmarks have something like this across the top row of the result table.

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