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Fibonacci and exponential backoff for Node.js
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Fibonacci and exponential backoffs for Node.js.


npm install backoff


In order to use backoff, require backoff.

var backoff = require('backoff');

The usual way to instantiate a new Backoff object is to use one predefined factory method: backoff.fibonacci([options]), backoff.exponential([options]).

Backoff inherits from EventEmitter. One can listen for backoff completion by listening for backoff events. Registered handlers will be called with the current backoff number and delay.

var fibonacciBackoff = backoff.fibonacci({
    initialDelay: 10,
    maxDelay: 1000

fibonacciBackoff.on('backoff', function(number, delay) {
    console.log(number + ' ' + delay + 'ms');

    if (number < 15) {


The previous example would print:

0 10ms
1 10ms
2 20ms
3 30ms
4 50ms
5 80ms
6 130ms
7 210ms
8 340ms
9 550ms
10 890ms
11 1000ms
12 1000ms
13 1000ms
14 1000ms
15 1000ms

Backoff objects are meant to be instantiated once and reused several times by calling reset after each successful backoff operation.



Constructs an exponential backoff (10, 20, 40, 80, etc.).

options is an object with the following defaults:

options = {
    randomisationFactor: 0,
    initialDelay: 100,
    maxDelay: 10000

With these values, the backoff delay will increase from 100ms to 10000ms. The randomisation factor controls the range of randomness and must be between 0 and 1. By default, no randomisation is applied on the backoff delay.


Constructs a Fibonacci backoff (10, 10, 20, 30, 50, etc.).

The Fibonacci backoff has the same set of options as the exponential backoff.

Class Backoff

new Backoff(strategy)

  • strategy: the backoff strategy to use

Constructs a new backoff object from a specific backoff strategy. The backoff strategy must implement the BackoffStrategyinterface defined bellow.


Starts a backoff operation. Will throw an error if a backoff operation is already in progress.

In practice, this method should be called after a failed attempt to perform a sensitive operation (connecting to a database, downloading a resource over the network, etc.).


Resets the backoff delay to the initial backoff delay and stop any backoff operation in progress. After reset, a backoff instance can and should be reused.

In practice, this method should be called after having successfully completed the sensitive operation guarded by the backoff instance or if the client code request to stop any reconnection attempt.

Event: 'backoff'

  • number: number of backoff since last reset
  • delay: current backoff delay

Emitted on backoff completion, effectively signaling that the failing operation should be retried.

Interface BackoffStrategy

A backoff strategy must provide the following methods.

Computes and returns the next backoff delay.


Resets the backoff delay to its initial value.

Class ExponentialStrategy

Exponential (10, 20, 40, 80, etc.) backoff strategy implementation.

new ExponentialStrategy([options])

The options are:

  • randomisationFactor: defaults to 0, must be between 0 and 1
  • initialDelay: defaults to 100 ms
  • maxDelay: defaults to 10000 ms

Class FibonacciStrategy

Fibonnaci (10, 10, 20, 30, 50, etc.) backoff strategy implementation.

new FibonacciStrategy([options])

The options are:

  • randomisationFactor: defaults to 0, must be between 0 and 1
  • initialDelay: defaults to 100 ms
  • maxDelay: defaults to 10000 ms


This code is free to use under the terms of the MIT license.

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