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@rav2040/worker-pool

1.0.0 • Public • Published

Worker Pool

Node.js CI Coverage Status Known Vulnerabilities

Use a pool of Node.js worker_threads to perform computationally expensive operations.

A worker pool consists of an array of dedicated workers that perform user-defined tasks. By offloading CPU-intensive tasks to worker threads, they are prevented from blocking the event loop.

Worker Pool implements a batched queue system. When a task is executed, it is added to a job queue. When a worker is ready to process jobs, it takes the pending jobs from the queue (up to a customizable limit) and processes them together. Once they have all completed, the results are sent back to the main thread. The advantage of this approach is that some of the overhead cost involved in passing data to the worker thread and back is reduced. However, it also means that some tasks may not necessarily be processed in the order they were submitted. If a particular task takes a long time to complete, all other tasks in the same batch will have to wait along with it. Therefore, Worker Pool allows you to customize the maximum number of tasks that can be batched together. If you have a combination of both long and short running tasks, it may be best to utilize a separate worker pool for each.

Installation

npm install @rav2040/worker-pool

Usage

First, create the script that will be loaded by the worker pool. Import the createTask() function and pass it a task name and a callback function. Here we're using the classic example of calculating the nth digit in the fibonacci sequence.

// my-script.js
 
const { createTask } = require('@rav2040/worker-pool');
 
function fib(n) {
  if (<= 1) return n;
  return fib(- 1) + fib(- 2); 
}
 
createTask('fibonacci', fib);

Then, in your main application, import the createWorkerPool() function and call it to create a new instance of WorkerPool, passing the pathname of your script as the first argument. You will then be able to execute the task from your script by calling pool.exec(taskName), with the remaining arguments being the ones your task function accepts. pool.exec() returns a promise that resolves to the result of your task.

// my-app.js
 
const { createWorkerPool } = require('@rav2040/worker-pool');
 
const pool = createWorkerPool(__dirname + '/my-script.js');
 
async function main() {
  const result = await pool.exec('fibonacci', 23);
  console.log(result); // 28657
 
  // Don't forget to destroy the worker pool once you've finished with it.
  await pool.destroy();
}
 
main();

To prevent active handles from letting your application exit cleanly, make sure to call pool.destroy() once you're done.

API

createTask(name, callback)

Creates a task using the provided callback, indexed by name. This function should be called in a separate script file, which is then loaded by the the worker pool.

Throws an Error if a task with the provided name has already been created.

const { createTask } = require('@rav2040/worker-pool');
 
createTask('my task', (...args) => {
  let result;
 
  // Perform some expensive operations.
 
  return result;
});

createWorkerPool(filename, options?)

Returns an instance of WorkerPool. Workers are implemented using Node's built-in Worker class. The filename passed as the first argument should be the absolute or relative path of a .js file which implements the createTask() function as outlined above.

If an options object is provided, it can contain any of the following optional properties:

  • numWorkers
    The number of workers the worker pool will employ. Defaults to one less than the number of available CPU cores.

  • maxQueueSize
    The maximum number of pending jobs the worker pool will accept. Defaults to Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER.

  • maxJobsPerWorker
    The maximum number of jobs a worker will take from the queue at once. Defaults to 100.

const { createWorkerPool } = require('@rav2040/worker-pool');
 
async function main() {
  const pool = createWorkerPool('./my-script.js', {
    numWorkers: 2,
    maxQueueSize: 1000,
    maxJobsPerWorker: 20,
  });
 
  const result = await pool.exec('my task', ...args);
 
  // Do something with the result.
 
  await pool.destroy();
}
 
main();

Calling createWorkerPool() will return an instance of WorkerPool, but the WorkerPool class is not exported directly.

An instance of WorkerPool exposes the following properties and methods:

Properties

  • activeTasks: number
    The number of tasks currently being processed.

  • destroyed: boolean
    Indicates whether or not the worker pool has been destroyed.

  • maxJobsPerWorker: number
    The maximum number of jobs a worker will take from the queue at once.

  • maxQueueSize: number
    The maximum number of pending jobs the worker pool will accept.

  • numActiveWorkers: number
    The number of currently active (busy) workers.

  • numIdleWorkers: number
    The number of currently idle workers.

  • numWorkers: number
    The total number of workers employed by the worker pool.

  • pendingTasks: number
    The number of tasks currently waiting to be processed.

Methods

.destroy()

Terminates all workers and removes all jobs from the queue. Tasks not yet completed are immediately canceled and rejected with an Error. Returns a promise that resolves once all workers have been terminated and the destroyed property has been set to true.

.exec(taskName, ...arguments)

Executes the given task. All arguments after the first are passed to the worker. Returns a promise which either resolves to the result of the executed task, or rejects with an error.

An Error is thrown if any of the following occur:

  • The worker pool has been destroyed.
  • The worker pool was destroyed before the task could complete.
  • The max job queue size has been reached.
  • A task with the provided name doesn't exist.

In addition, if your task function throws an error during execution, the worker will catch it and pass it back to the main thread. exec() will then reject with that error.

.getStats()

Returns an Object which contains the following WorkerPool properties:

  • activeTasks
  • pendingTasks
  • idleWorkers
  • activeWorkers

Install

npm i @rav2040/worker-pool

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1.0.0

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MIT

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