benchmarkhor 0.4.0
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Benchmark comparison tool. Provides ways to compare benchmark results as a whole, as opposed to just a few summary numbers.

An illustration of a markhor, a mountain goat

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Benchmarkhor is a benchmark comparison tool. It provides ways to compare benchmark data as a whole, as opposed to just as a handful of summary numbers.

(Markhor is a species of mountain goat.)

Features #

  • Visualizes performance changes with a diff histogram.
    This allows for a much more insightful comparison.

  • Saves each run in a tiny file without losing detail.
    Each .benchmark file takes only a few kilobytes (about the size of this README.md text file). Compared to the timeline JSON files, which can easily take hundreds of megabytes, this format takes about 0.003% on disk.

  • Summarizes performance improvements with a carefully selected set of metrics.
    This makes it easier to see if a particular performance optimization makes a significant difference, and it makes it harder to be fooled by false indications of progress.

Install #

Currently, the tool requires that you have the Dart SDK installed and in your path.

Then, install this tool by running

$ dart pub global activate benchmarkhor

Use #

Note: Benchmarkhor currently only supports comparison of Flutter benchmarks. It may support more use cases in the future, but here we'll assume you want to compare two versions of the same Flutter app.

Creating the baseline ("before") benchmark #

  1. Exercise your app via an automated benchmarking approach, using flutter_driver. (See instructions on how to make the benchmarks as stable as possible.) Save the timeline to a file, such as baseline.json.

  2. Run the benchextract tool on this file:

    $ benchextract baseline.json
    

    This generates a baseline.benchmark file in the same directory. It is much smaller yet contains all the salient data.

  3. (Optional.) You can delete baseline.json now.

  4. Keep baseline.benchmark for later, possibly even adding it to your source version control.

Creating the candidate ("after") benchmark #

After you've made your performance optimization work, create a new .benchmark file by following the instructions above. (Excercise your app using flutter_driver, save the timeline to a .json file, run benchextract on that file, remove the .json file.)

Comparing two benchmarks #

Simply run the benchcompare tool on any two benchmark files:

$ benchcompare baseline.benchmark new.benchmark

This will give a result like this:

<-- (improvement)                  UI thread                (deterioration) -->

                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       █
                                       ██
                                       ██
                                .......███................ ..
───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
-8.0ms                                 ^                                  8.0ms


<-- (improvement)                Raster thread              (deterioration) -->

                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                  █    █
                                 ▄█    █
                                 ██    █
  ▄                          ██████    █
▄.█▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄.▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄██████████....█  .  .  .  ..                         .
───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
-8.0ms                                 ^                                  8.0ms

UI       Median  Average
Before:     215    904.8
After:      216    953.5
         * statistically significant difference (95% confidence)
Raster   Median  Average
Before:    6542   6240.2
After:     5506   4807.3
         * statistically significant difference (95% confidence)

UI thread:
* 2.3% (10785ms) worsening of total execution time
* No significant change in jank risk (5946 -> 5894)
  (That's a 0 ppt decrease in ratio of jank-to-normal frames.)
* 0.0% of individual measurements improved by 1ms+
* 0.1% of individual measurements worsened by 1ms+

Raster thread:
* 23.0% (-165496ms) improvement of total execution time
* -66% to -67% less potential jank (25507 -> 8567)
  (That's a 15 ppt decrease in ratio of jank-to-normal frames.)
* 77.8% of individual measurements improved by 1ms+
* 0.0% of individual measurements worsened by 1ms+

In the above example, we can see a massive improvement on the raster thread. The histogram tells us this improvement is consistent: most of the graph is to the left of center, which means that most of the measurements in new.benchmark were shorter (faster) than in baseline.benchmark.

We can also see some deterioration on the UI thread, but only in total execution time (which roughly translates to battery usage). We can now decide whether this deterioration on the UI thread is a fair price for the improvement on the raster thread. (For what it's worth: it definitely is, in this case.)

Contribute #

Please file an issue first, or feel free to fork this project if you can't wait. This is a personal project, so there are no guarantees.

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Publisher

filiph.net

Benchmark comparison tool. Provides ways to compare benchmark results as a whole, as opposed to just a few summary numbers.

Repository (GitHub)
View/report issues

Documentation

API reference

License

MIT (LICENSE)

Dependencies

args, logging, lzma, path, t_stats

More

Packages that depend on benchmarkhor