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Performance Playground

Since I work on real-time software projects where tens of thousands of data samples per second must be filtered, manipulated, and transformed into higher level decision-support information, performance in the main processing pipeline is important. If the software can’t keep up with the unrelenting onslaught of data streaming in from the “real world“, internal buffers/queues will overflow at best and the system will crash at worst. D’oh!

Because of the elevated importance of efficiency in real-time systems, I always keep a simple (one source code file) project named “performance_playground” open in my Eclipse IDE for algorithm/idiom/pattern prototyping and performance measurement. I use it to measure and optimize the performance of “chunks” of critical logic and to pit two or more candidates against each other in performance death matches. For each experiment I “branch” off of the project trunk and then I tag and commit the instantiation to archive the results.

The source code for the performance_playground project is shown below. The program’s sole external dependency is on the boost.date_time library for its platform-independent timestamping. Surely, you have the boost library set installed on all your development platforms, right?

How about you? Do you have something similar? Do you assume that all performance testing and algorithm vetting falls into the dreaded, time-wasting, “premature optimizationanti-pattern?

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    December 29, 2010 at 9:19 am


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