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Micro-benchmarking framework. Extensible, with distributed/cluster support.

Project description


Microbench is a small Python package for benchmarking Python functions, and optionally capturing extra runtime/environment information. It is most useful in clustered/distributed environments, where the same function runs under different environments, and is designed to be extensible with new functionality. In addition to benchmarking, this can help reproducibility by e.g. logging the versions of key Python packages.


Microbench has no dependencies outside of the Python standard library, although pandas is recommended to examine results.


To install using pip:

pip install microbench


Microbench is designed for benchmarking Python functions. These examples will assume you have already defined a Python function myfunction that you wish to benchmark:

def myfunction(arg1, arg2, ...):

Minimal example

First, create a benchmark suite, which specifies the configuration and information to capture. By default, benchmarks are appended to a file in JSON format (one record per line) to a filename specified by outfile.

Here's a minimal, complete example:

from microbench import MicroBench

class BasicBench(MicroBench):
    outfile = '/home/user/my-benchmarks'
basic_bench = BasicBench()

To attach the benchmark to your function, simply use basic_bench as a decorator, like this:

def myfunction(arg1, arg2, ...):

That's it! Benchmark information will be appended to the file specified in outfile. This example captures the fields start_time, finish_time and function_name. See the Examine results section for further information.

Extended example

Here's a more complete example using mixins (the MB prefixed class names) to extend functionality. Note that keyword arguments can be supplied to the constructor (in this case some_info=123) to specify additional information to capture.

from microbench import *
import numpy, pandas

class MyBench(MicroBench, MBFunctionCall, MBPythonVersion, MBHostInfo):
    outfile = '/home/user/my-benchmarks'
    capture_versions = (numpy, pandas)
    env_vars = ('SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID', )
benchmark = MyBench(some_info=123)
Mixin Fields captured
(default) start_time
MBFunctionCall args (positional arguments)
kwargs (keyword arguments)
MBPythonVersion python_version (e.g. 3.6.0)
MBHostInfo hostname

The capture_versions option from the example creates fields like <package name>_version, e.g. numpy_version. This is captured from the package's __name__ attribute, or left as null where not available.

The env_vars option from the example above specifies a list of environment variables to capture as env_<variable name>. In this example, the slurm array task ID will be stored as env_SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID. Where the environment variable is not set, the value will be null.

Examine results

Each result is a JSON object. When using the outfile option, a JSON object for each @benchmark call is stored on a separate line in the file. The output from the minimal example above for a single run will look similar to the following:

{"start_time": "2018-08-06T10:28:24.806493", "finish_time": "2018-08-06T10:28:24.867456", "function_name": "my_function"}

The simplest way to examine results in detail is to load them into a pandas dataframe:

import pandas
results = pandas.read_json('/home/user/my-benchmarks', lines=True)

Pandas has powerful data manipulation capabilities. For example, to calculate the average runtime by Python version:

# Calculate runtime for each run
results['runtime'] = results['finish_time'] - results['start_time']

# Average runtime by Python version

Many more advanced operations are available. The pandas tutorial is recommended.

Extending microbench

Microbench includes a few mixins for basic functionality as described in the extended example, above.

You can add functions to your benchmark suite to capture extra information at runtime. These functions must be prefixed with capture_ for them to run automatically after the function has completed. They take a single argument, bm_data, a dictionary to be extended with extra data. Care should be taken to avoid overwriting existing key names.

Here's an example to capture the machine type (i386, x86_64 etc.):

from microbench import MicroBench
import platform

class Bench(MicroBench):
    outfile = '/home/user/my-benchmarks'

    def capture_machine_platform(self, bm_data):
        bm_data['platform'] = platform.machine()
benchmark = Bench()

Redis support

By default, microbench appends output to a file, but output can be directed elsewhere, e.g. redis - an in-memory, networked data source. This option is useful when a shared filesystem is not available.

Redis support requires redis-py.

To use this feature, inherit from MicroBenchRedis instead of MicroBench, and specify the redis connection and key name as in the following example:

from microbench import MicroBenchRedis

class RedisBench(MicroBenchRedis):
    # redis_connection contains arguments for redis.StrictClient()
    redis_connection = {'host': 'localhost', 'port': 6379}
    redis_key = 'microbench:mykey'

benchmark = RedisBench()

To retrieve results, the redis package can be used directly:

import redis
import pandas

# Establish the connection to redis
rconn = redis.StrictRedis(host=..., port=...)

# Read the redis data from 'myrediskey' into a list of byte arrays
redis_data = redis.lrange('myrediskey', 0, -1)

# Convert the list into a single string
json_data = '\n'.join(r.decode('utf8') for r in redis_data)

# Read the string into a pandas dataframe
results = pandas.read_json(json_data, lines=True)


Please note this is a recently created, experimental package. Please let me know your feedback or feature requests in Github issues.

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