Shahzad Bhatti

August 20, 2007

Benchmarking Java Vs Erlang

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 3:07 pm

I have been reading Joe Armstrong’s Erlang book recently and one of the assignment is to compare performance of processes and message communication by creating a ring of processes and sending messages. The assignment needs to be done in two languages so I Java as another language.

Here is the Java version:

  1 import java.util.*;
  2 import java.util.concurrent.*;
  3
  4 /**
  5  * Create N followers in a ring. Send a message round the ring M times so that a total of N * M messages get sent.
  6  * Time how long this takes for different value of N and M.
  7  * javac Ring.java
  8  * java -Xss48k -cp . Ring
  9  */
 10 public class Ring {
 11     //
 12     public class Follower extends Thread {
 13         final BlockingQueue queue = new LinkedBlockingQueue();
 14         Follower nextFollower;
 15         int pid;
 16         int numberOfMessages;
 17
 18         public Follower(int pid, int numberOfMessages) {
 19             this.pid = pid;
 20             this.numberOfMessages = numberOfMessages;
 21         }
 22
 23         public void setNextFollower(Follower nextFollower) {
 24             this.nextFollower = nextFollower;
 25         }
 26
 27
 28         public void sendAsynchronous(Object message) {
 29             queue.add(message);
 30         }
 31
 32         public void run() {
 33             //System.out.println("Starting Pid " + pid + ", numberOfMessages " + numberOfMessages);
 34             for (int i=0; i<numberOfMessages; i++) {
 35                 try {
 36                     Object message = queue.take();
 37                     nextFollower.sendAsynchronous(message);
 38                 } catch (InterruptedException e) {
 39                     Thread.currentThread().interrupted();
 40                 }
 41             }
 42             //System.out.println("Ending Pid " + pid + ", numberOfMessages " + numberOfMessages);
 43         }
 44     }
 45
 46     public class Leader extends Follower {
 47         public Leader(int pid) {
 48             super(pid, 0);
 49         }
 50
 51
 52         public void run() {
 53             // leader will not run asynchronously
 54         }
 55
 56         public void sendReceiveSynchronous(Object message) {
 57             try {
 58                 nextFollower.sendAsynchronous(message);
 59                 message = queue.take();
 60             } catch (InterruptedException e) {
 61                 Thread.currentThread().interrupted();
 62             }
 63         }
 64     }
 65
 66
 67     public Ring() {
 68     }
 69
 70
 71
 72     public void runRing(int numberOfProcesses, int numberOfMessages) {
 73         Leader leader = new Leader(-1);
 74         Follower[] followers = buildFollowers(numberOfProcesses-1, numberOfMessages, leader);
 75         startFollowers(followers);
 76         for (int i=0; i<numberOfMessages; i++) {
 77             leader.sendReceiveSynchronous(Boolean.TRUE); // we are not taking message size into account
 78         }
 79     }
 80
 81
 82     public void benchmarkRing(int numberOfProcesses, int numberOfMessages) {
 83         System.out.println("Starting ring for " + numberOfProcesses + " threads and " + numberOfMessages + " messages");
 84         long start = System.currentTimeMillis();
 85         //
 86         runRing(numberOfProcesses, numberOfMessages);
 87
 88         long elapsed = System.currentTimeMillis() - start;
 89         System.out.println("Ring for " + numberOfProcesses + " threads and " + numberOfMessages + " messages took " + elapsed + " milliseconds.");
 90     }
 91
 92     private void startFollowers(Follower[] followers) {
 93         for (int i=0; i<followers.length; i++) {
 94             followers[i].setDaemon(true);
 95             followers[i].start();
 96         }
 97     }
 98
 99
100     private Follower[] buildFollowers(int numberOfFollowers, int numberOfMessages, Leader leader) {
101         Follower[] followers = new Follower[numberOfFollowers];
102         for (int i=0; i<followers.length; i++) {
103             followers[i] = new Follower(i, numberOfMessages);
104         }
105         leader.setNextFollower(followers[0]);
106         for (int i=0; i<followers.length; i++) {
107             if (i == followers.length-1) {
108                 followers[i].setNextFollower(leader);
109             } else {
110                 followers[i].setNextFollower(followers[i+1]);
111             }
112         }
113         return followers;
114     }
115
116
117     //
118     public static void main(String[] args) {
119         for (int i=100; i<10000; i+=100) {
120             for (int j=100; j<10000; j+=1000) {
121                 new Ring().benchmarkRing(i, j);
122             }
123         }
124     }
125 }
126

And here is the Erlang version:

 1 -module(ring).
 2 -compile(export_all).
 3
 4 % c(ring).
 5 % Pid = ring:start(2).
 6 % Pid ! {self(), 0}.
 7 % Pid ! {self(), 2}.
 8 % ring:benchmark_ring(10, 4).
 9
10
11 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
12 % start - spawns a process and runs receive_send_loop function. It passes M - # of messages to the
13 % loop.
14 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
15 start(M, NextPid) ->
16     spawn(fun() -> receive_send_loop(M, NextPid) end).
17
18
19 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
20 % ring stars N processes, each will run receive_send_loop.
21 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
22 start_ring(N, M) ->
23     LastPid = self(),
24     start_ring(N-1, M, LastPid).
25
26 start_ring(N, M, LastPid) when N > 0 ->
27     Pid = start(M, LastPid),
28     start_ring(N-1, M, Pid);
29 start_ring(N, _M, LastPid) when N == 0 ->
30     LastPid.
31
32 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
33 % send_receive_message sends a message with D, M number of times to all processes inside in list L
34 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
35 send_receive_message(M, D, LastPid) when M > 0 ->
36     Payload = case M of
37       1 -> {nomore, D};
38       _Else -> {ok, D}
39     end,
40     %io:format("Master ~p Sending message to ~p~n", [self(), LastPid]),
41     LastPid ! Payload,
42
43     %io:format("Master ~p Reciving message ~n", [self()]),
44     receive
45             {ok, Response} ->
46                 Response
47     end,
48     %io:format("Master ~p Received message ~n", [self()]),
49     send_receive_message(M-1, D, LastPid);
50
51 send_receive_message(M, _D, _LastPid) when M == 0 ->
52     true.
53
54 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
55 % benchmark_ring invokes ring function and calculates timings.
56 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
57 benchmark_ring() ->
58     benchmark_ring(100).
59
60 benchmark_ring(N) when N < 10000 ->
61     benchmark_ring(N, 100),
62     benchmark_ring(N+100);
63 benchmark_ring(N) when N >= 10000 ->
64     true.
65
66 benchmark_ring(N, M) when M < 10000 ->
67     io:format("Starting ring for ~w processes and ~w messages.~n", [N, M]),
68     statistics(runtime),
69     statistics(wall_clock),
70     LastPid = start_ring(N, M),
71     send_receive_message(M, 'message', LastPid),
72     {_, RT} = statistics(runtime),
73     {_, WC} = statistics(wall_clock),
74     io:format("Ring for ~w processes and ~w messages took ~p (~p) milliseconds.~n", [N, M, RT, WC]),
75     benchmark_ring(N, M+1000);
76 benchmark_ring(_N, M) when M >= 10000 ->
77     true.
78
79
80
81 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
82 % receive_send_loop receives messages in a loop until it receives nomore.
83 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
84 receive_send_loop(M, NextPid) ->
85     receive
86         {nomore, Any} ->
87             %io:format("~p received ~p last message ~p nextPid ~p ~n", [self(), M, NextPid, Any]),
88             NextPid ! {ok, Any};
89         {ok, Any} ->
90             %io:format("~p received ~p message ~p nextPid ~p ~n", [self(), M, NextPid, Any]),
91             NextPid ! {ok, Any},
92             receive_send_loop(M-1, NextPid)
93      end.
94
95

And the verdict is Erlang is much more efficient than Java in process/thread creation and message communication I had to actually explicitly reduce the stack size to run Java program, but there is no comparison. Here is the results of benchmarks.

Here is simple ruby script that I used to merge output statistics from both runs:

 1 class Stats
 2   attr_accessor :processes
 3   attr_accessor :messages
 4   attr_accessor :java_time
 5   attr_accessor :erlang_time
 6   def initialize(procs, msgs, jtime, etime)
 7     @processes = procs.to_i
 8     @messages = msgs.to_i
 9     @java_time = jtime.to_i if jtime
10     @erlang_time = etime.to_i if etime
11   end
12   def key
13     "#{@processes}/#{@messages}"
14   end
15
16   def to_s
17     "#{@processes},#{@messages},#{@java_time},#{@erlang_time}"
18   end
19 end
20
21 stats = {}
22 File.open("javaring.out", "r").readlines.each do |line|
23   if line =~ /Ring for/
24     t = line.split(/ /)
25     stat = Stats.new(t[2], t[5], t[8], nil)
26     stats[stat.key] = stat
27     #puts "#{stat} --- for line #{t.join(', ')}" 
28   end
29 end
30
31 File.open("erlout", "r").readlines.each do |line|
32   if line =~ /Ring for/
33     t = line.split(/ /)
34     stat = Stats.new(t[2], t[5], nil, t[8])
35     old = stats[stat.key]
36     if old
37       old.erlang_time = stat.erlang_time
38     else
39       stats[stat.key] = stat
40     end
41     #puts "#{stat} --- for line #{t.join(', ')}" 
42   end
43 end
44 stats.values.sort_by {|stat| stat.processes * stat.messages}.each do |stat|
45   puts stat
46 end
47
48

Final Thoughts

Erlang is great for writing highly concurrent applications. It shows that smart use of green threads can outperform native threads. The only thing I found a bit verbose about Erlang is that you have to write a switch statement to receive messages. I wish these processes be more object oriented where message passing is done by method invocation instead of explicitly as it’s done in Erlang. What I mean is, instead of writing

  receive
     {label1, From, RealData} ->
          action;
     {label2, From, RealData} ->
          action;

It be more like module with functions defined as label1, label2, .. and arguments that accept From, RealData. Also, a lot of time, you have to send back a message, which can also be implicitly sent if the function returns anything. Back in mid 90s I wrote a Java based ORB that had a ServiceFactory that took any POJO object and converted that into Service. I consider these processes as small services and it would be nice to have same mechanism to convertĀ  module into service. Another thing I find hard about Erlang (besides immutable data) are cryptic error messages. I am used to seeing the line number or stack trace where the error occurred, but Erlang error are very cryptic. As with learning a new language, you also have to learn all the libraries and Erlang has huge OTP beast that I will have to tame. Nevertheless, I like Erlang so far and it’s going to be favorite language.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress