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How do I make nodelet manager as fast as the individual nodes?

asked 2016-08-22 17:57:05 -0500

gabewb gravatar image

updated 2016-08-23 13:06:30 -0500

I have two nodelets that don't talk to each other at all. Neither subscribes to anything that the other publishes. I put them under a shared nodelet manager as the first step of a larger project to integrate them with a third nodelet.

I was surprised to discover that stapling the nodes into a single nodelet manager made them slower overall, even with a really high num_worker_threads.


    <node pkg="nodelet" type="nodelet" name="twin_nodelet_manager" args="manager"> 
        <param name="num_worker_threads" value="32" />
    <node pkg="nodelet" type="nodelet" name="tweedledee" args="load wonderland/tweedledee twin_nodelet_manager" />
    <node pkg="nodelet" type="nodelet" name="tweedledum" args="load wonderland/tweedledum twin_nodelet_manager" />


    <node pkg="wonderland" type="tweedledee" name="tweedledee" output="screen"/>
    <node pkg="wonderland" type="tweedledum" name="tweedledum" output="screen"/>

Is this consistent with other people's experience? I assume I'm not giving the nodelet manager as much of the computer's resources as I gave the pair of nodes. Is there a way to increase that?


By "not as fast" I mean that the time elapsed during the main callback increased according to std::clock.

void mainCallback(msg) {
  double start = std::clock();
  // do stuff, publish
  double elapsed = ((double)std::clock() - start) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC;
  ROS_INFO_STREAM("elapsed: " << elapsed);
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How did you measure the fact, that they are slower? When you open up htop do you see them running in separate threads?

Dimitri Schachmann gravatar image Dimitri Schachmann  ( 2016-08-23 05:03:21 -0500 )edit

Edited to show method used for testing. I didn't run htop to see what resources the nodelets were getting - I'll let you know what I see.

gabewb gravatar image gabewb  ( 2016-08-23 13:04:04 -0500 )edit

I don't think you can use std::clock() for this purpose. See this note fi (from here):

if the current process is multithreaded and more than one execution core is available, std::clock time may advance faster than wall clock.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-08-23 13:44:52 -0500 )edit

In general I wouldn't use cpu time for benchmarking purposes.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-08-23 13:51:14 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-08-23 17:29:50 -0500

gabewb gravatar image

The problem is the use of std::clock(). The nodes themselves were single-threaded, but the nodelet manager is multithreaded, which throws off std::clock() by a lot.

Switched to std::chrono::high_resolution_clock::now(), and the problem no longer appears.

Thanks, gvdhoorn!

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Asked: 2016-08-22 17:57:05 -0500

Seen: 1,567 times

Last updated: Aug 23 '16