deigma

Continuous event sampler


Keywords
elixir, erlang, event-sampler, sample-rate
License
MIT

Documentation

deigma

deigma is an event sampler for for Erlang/OTP and Elixir.

It performs sampling of reported events within continuous one second windows[*].

The sampling percentage is steadily adjusted so that the events that seep through are representative of what's happening in the system while not exceeding specified rate limits.

The sampling percentage is also exposed in the context of each reported event, so that whichever other component that later receives the samples can perform reasonable guesses of the original population properties with limited information.

[*] As far as the monotonic clock resolution goes.

Example (Erlang)

There's a heavy duty web service; we want to report metrics on inbound HTTP requests to a StatsD service over UDP while minimising the risk of dropped datagrams due to an excessive amount of them.

For this, we can downsample the reported metrics while determining the real sampling percentage using deigma.

1. Start a deigma instance
Category = metrics,
{ok, _Pid} = deigma:start(Category).
2. Sample events
Category = metrics,
EventType = http_request,

case deigma:ask(Category, EventType) of
    {sample, SamplingPercentage} ->
        your_metrics:report(counter, EventType, +1, SamplingPercentage);
    {drop, _SamplingPercentage} ->
        ok
end.
  • Category must be an atom
  • EventType can be any term
  • SamplingPercentage is a floating point number between 0.0 and 1.0 representing the percentage of events that were sampled during the last 1000 milliseconds, including the event reported just now.
  • The rate limit defaults to 100 EventType occurences per second within a Category; it can be overridden.
  • The function invoked each time an event gets registered can also be customized.

Example (Elixir)

Same scenario as in the Erlang example.

1. Start a deigma instance
category = :metrics
{:ok, _pid} = :deigma.start(category)
2. Sample events
category = :metrics
event_type = :http_request

case :deigma.ask(category, event_type) do
    {:sample, sampling_percentage} ->
        YourMetrics.report(:counter, event_type, +1, sampling_percentage)
    {:drop, _sampling_percentage} ->
        :ok
end

Documentation and Reference

Documentation and reference are hosted on HexDocs.

Tested setup

  • Erlang/OTP 18 or higher
  • rebar3

Categories

Each Category represents an independent group of events and is managed separately; categories can be launched under your own supervision tree (using :child_spec/1 or :start_link/1) as well as under the deigma application (using :start/1).

Categories launched under deigma can be stopped using :stop/1.

Event windows

Within the context of each Category, each distinct EventType will be handled under dedicated event windows that are owned by independent processes.

These processes are created on demand as new EventType values get sampled, and stopped after 1000 milliseconds of inactivity.

Rate limiting

Each time a new event is reported, the rate limit is applied according to how many events were sampled so far during the previous 1000 milliseconds; if the limit has been or is about to be exceeded, the event gets dropped.

The default rate limit is set to 100 EventType occurences per second within a Category. It can be overriden using :ask options:

Category = metrics,
EventType = http_request,
MaxRate = 50,

case deigma:ask(Category, EventType, [{max_rate, MaxRate}]) of
    {sample, SamplingPercentage} ->
        your_metrics:report(counter, EventType, +1, SamplingPercentage);
    {drop, _SamplingPercentage} ->
        ok
end.

Custom event functions and serializability

The function invoked upon an event getting registered, within an event window, can be customized.

This is useful if you need serializability when handling sampling decisions and percentages, at the expense of increasing the risk of the event window becoming a performance bottleneck.

Category = metrics,
EventType = http_request,

deigma:ask(
    Category, EventType,
    fun (Timestamp, sample, SamplingPercentage) ->
            your_metrics:report(counter, EventType, +1, SamplingPercentage);
        (_Timestamp, drop, _SamplingPercentage) ->
            ok
    end).

In this scenario, whathever your function returns (or throws) will be what deigma:ask returns (or throws.)

License

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2018 Guilherme Andrade

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.