BenchmarkTools makes performance tracking of Julia code easy by supplying a framework for writing and running groups of benchmarks as well as comparing benchmark results.

This package is used to write and run the benchmarks found in BaseBenchmarks.jl.

The CI infrastructure for automated performance testing of the Julia language is not in this package, but can be found in Nanosoldier.jl.

Quick Start

The primary macro provided by BenchmarkTools is @benchmark:

julia> using BenchmarkTools

# The `setup` expression is run once per sample, and is not included in the
# timing results. Note that each sample can require multiple evaluations
# benchmark kernel evaluations. See the BenchmarkTools manual for details.
julia> @benchmark sort(data) setup=(data=rand(10))
 10000 samples with 968 evaulations took a median time of 90.902 ns (0.00% GC)
 Time  (mean ± σ):   94.936 ns ±  47.797 ns  (GC: 2.78% ±  5.03%)
 Range (min … max):  77.655 ns … 954.823 ns  (GC: 0.00% … 87.94%)

  77.7 ns         Histogram: frequency by time           137 ns

 Memory estimate: 160 bytes, allocs estimate: 1.

For quick sanity checks, one can use the @btime macro, which is a convenience wrapper around @benchmark whose output is analogous to Julia's built-in @time macro:

julia> @btime sin(x) setup=(x=rand())
  4.361 ns (0 allocations: 0 bytes)

If you're interested in profiling a fast-running command, you can use @bprofile sin(x) setup=(x=rand()) and then your favorite tools for displaying the results (Profile.print or a graphical viewer).

If the expression you want to benchmark depends on external variables, you should use $ to "interpolate" them into the benchmark expression to avoid the problems of benchmarking with globals. Essentially, any interpolated variable $x or expression $(...) is "pre-computed" before benchmarking begins:

julia> A = rand(3,3);

julia> @btime inv($A);            # we interpolate the global variable A with $A
  1.191 μs (10 allocations: 2.31 KiB)

julia> @btime inv($(rand(3,3)));  # interpolation: the rand(3,3) call occurs before benchmarking
  1.192 μs (10 allocations: 2.31 KiB)

julia> @btime inv(rand(3,3));     # the rand(3,3) call is included in the benchmark time
  1.295 μs (11 allocations: 2.47 KiB)

Sometimes, interpolating variables into very simple expressions can give the compiler more information than you intended, causing it to "cheat" the benchmark by hoisting the calculation out of the benchmark code

julia> a = 1; b = 2

julia> @btime $a + $b
  0.024 ns (0 allocations: 0 bytes)

As a rule of thumb, if a benchmark reports that it took less than a nanosecond to perform, this hoisting probably occurred. You can avoid this by referencing and dereferencing the interpolated variables

julia> @btime $(Ref(a))[] + $(Ref(b))[]
  1.277 ns (0 allocations: 0 bytes)

As described in the Manual, the BenchmarkTools package supports many other features, both for additional output and for more fine-grained control over the benchmarking process.