A Framework for Reliable Benchmarking and Resource Measurement
News and Updates:
- BenchExec is part of Google Summer of Code again! If you are interested in being paid by Google for contributing to BenchExec, check our project ideas and instructions.
- Linux kernel 5.11 finally makes it possible to use all BenchExec features on distributions other than Ubuntu!
- We now provide an Ubuntu PPA that makes installing and upgrading BenchExec easier (docs).
- An extended version of our paper on BenchExec and its background was published as open access in the journal STTT, you can read Reliable Benchmarking: Requirements and Solutions online. We also provide a set of overview slides.
BenchExec provides three major features:
- execution of arbitrary commands with precise and reliable measurement and limitation of resource usage (e.g., CPU time and memory), and isolation against other running processes
- an easy way to define benchmarks with specific tool configurations and resource limits, and automatically executing them on large sets of input files
- generation of interactive tables and plots for the results
Unlike other benchmarking frameworks, BenchExec is able to reliably measure and limit resource usage of the benchmarked tool even if the latter spawns subprocesses. In order to achieve this, it uses the cgroups feature of the Linux kernel to correctly handle groups of processes. For proper isolation of the benchmarks, it uses (if available) Linux user namespaces and an overlay filesystem to create a container that restricts interference of the executed tool with the benchmarking host. BenchExec is intended for benchmarking non-interactive tools on Linux systems. It measures CPU time, wall time, and memory usage of a tool, and allows to specify limits for these resources. It also allows to limit the CPU cores and (on NUMA systems) memory regions, and the container mode allows to restrict filesystem and network access. In addition to measuring resource usage, BenchExec can verify that the result of the tool was as expected, and extract further statistical data from the output. Results from multiple runs can be combined into CSV and interactive HTML tables, of which the latter provide scatter and quantile plots (have a look at our demo table).
BenchExec works only on Linux and needs a one-time setup of cgroups by the machine's administrator. The actual benchmarking can be done by any user and does not need root access.
BenchExec was originally developed for use with the software verification framework CPAchecker and is now developed as an independent project at the Software Systems Lab of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich).
- Demo of a result table
- BenchExec GitHub Repository, use this for reporting issues and asking questions
- BenchExec at PyPI
- BenchExec at Zenodo: Each release gets a DOI such that you can reference it from your publications and artifacts.
- Reliable Benchmarking: Requirements and Solutions, by D. Beyer, S. Löwe, and P. Wendler. International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer (STTT), 21(1):1-29, 2019. doi:10.1007/s10009-017-0469-y. Journal paper about BenchExec (open access, also with a supplementary webpage and overview slides)
- CPU Energy Meter: A Tool for Energy-Aware Algorithms Engineering, by D. Beyer and P. Wendler. In Proc. TACAS 2020, part 2, LNCS 12079, pages 126-133, 2020. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-45237-7_8
- Benchmarking and Resource Measurement, by D. Beyer, S. Löwe, and P. Wendler. In Proc. SPIN 2015, LNCS 9232, pages 160-178, 2015. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-23404-5_12
License and Copyright
BenchExec is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License,
copyright Dirk Beyer.
Exceptions are some tool-info modules
and third-party code that is bundled in the HTML tables,
which are available under several other free licenses
Maintainer: Philipp Wendler
- Aditya Arora
- Dirk Beyer
- Laura Bschor
- Thomas Bunk
- Montgomery Carter
- Andreas Donig
- Karlheinz Friedberger
- Peter Häring
- Florian Heck
- George Karpenkov
- Mike Kazantsev
- Michael Lachner
- Thomas Lemberger
- Sebastian Ott
- Stefan Löwe
- Stephan Lukasczyk
- Alexander von Rhein
- Alexander Schremmer
- Dennis Simon
- Andreas Stahlbauer
- Thomas Stieglmaier
- Martin Yankov
- Ilja Zakharov
- and lots of more people who integrated tools into BenchExec
Users of BenchExec
BenchExec was successfully used for benchmarking in all instances of the international competitions on Software Verification and Software Testing with a wide variety of benchmarked tools and hundreds of thousands benchmark runs. It is integrated into the cluster-based logic-solving service StarExec (GitHub).
The developers of the following tools use BenchExec:
- CPAchecker, also for regression testing
If you would like to be listed here, contact us.