STATISTICS — Runtime statistics publication
In GNUnet, the STATISTICS subsystem offers a central place for all subsystems to publish unsigned 64-bit integer run-time statistics. Keeping this information centrally means that there is a unified way for the user to obtain data on all subsystems, and individual subsystems do not have to always include a custom data export method for performance metrics and other statistics. For example, the TRANSPORT system uses STATISTICS to update information about the number of directly connected peers and the bandwidth that has been consumed by the various plugins. This information is valuable for diagnosing connectivity and performance issues.
Following the GNUnet service architecture, the STATISTICS subsystem is divided into an API which is exposed through the header gnunet_statistics_service.h and the STATISTICS service gnunet-service-statistics. The gnunet-statistics command-line tool can be used to obtain (and change) information about the values stored by the STATISTICS service. The STATISTICS service does not communicate with other peers.
Data is stored in the STATISTICS service in the form of tuples (subsystem, name, value, persistence). The subsystem determines to which other GNUnet’s subsystem the data belongs. name is the name through which value is associated. It uniquely identifies the record from among other records belonging to the same subsystem. In some parts of the code, the pair (subsystem, name) is called a statistic as it identifies the values stored in the STATISTCS service.The persistence flag determines if the record has to be preserved across service restarts. A record is said to be persistent if this flag is set for it; if not, the record is treated as a non-persistent record and it is lost after service restart. Persistent records are written to and read from the file statistics.data before shutdown and upon startup. The file is located in the HOME directory of the peer.
An anomaly of the STATISTICS service is that it does not terminate immediately upon receiving a shutdown signal if it has any clients connected to it. It waits for all the clients that are not monitors to close their connections before terminating itself. This is to prevent the loss of data during peer shutdown — delaying the STATISTICS service shutdown helps other services to store important data to STATISTICS during shutdown.
libgnunetstatistics is the library containing the API for the
STATISTICS subsystem. Any process requiring to use STATISTICS should use
this API by to open a connection to the STATISTICS service. This is done
by calling the function
GNUNET_STATISTICS_create(). This function
takes the subsystem’s name which is trying to use STATISTICS and a
configuration. All values written to STATISTICS with this connection
will be placed in the section corresponding to the given subsystem’s
name. The connection to STATISTICS can be destroyed with the function
GNUNET_STATISTICS_destroy(). This function allows for the connection
to be destroyed immediately or upon transferring all pending write
requests to the service.
Note: STATISTICS subsystem can be disabled by setting
DISABLE = YES
[STATISTICS] section in the configuration. With such a
configuration all calls to
NULL as the STATISTICS subsystem is unavailable and no other
functions from the API can be used.
Once a connection to the statistics service is obtained, information
about any other system which uses statistics can be retrieved with the
function GNUNET_STATISTICS_get(). This function takes the connection
handle, the name of the subsystem whose information we are interested in
NULL value will retrieve information of all available subsystems
using STATISTICS), the name of the statistic we are interested in (a
NULL value will retrieve all available statistics), a continuation
callback which is called when all of requested information is retrieved,
an iterator callback which is called for each parameter in the retrieved
information and a closure for the aforementioned callbacks. The library
then invokes the iterator callback for each value matching the request.
GNUNET_STATISTICS_get() is asynchronous and can be canceled
with the function
GNUNET_STATISTICS_get_cancel(). This is helpful
when retrieving statistics takes too long and especially when we want to
shutdown and cleanup everything.
Setting statistics and updating them
So far we have seen how to retrieve statistics, here we will learn how we can set statistics and update them so that other subsystems can retrieve them.
A new statistic can be set using the function
GNUNET_STATISTICS_set(). This function takes the name of the
statistic and its value and a flag to make the statistic persistent. The
value of the statistic should be of the type
uint64_t. The function
does not take the name of the subsystem; it is determined from the
GNUNET_STATISTICS_create() invocation. If the given
statistic is already present, its value is overwritten.
An existing statistics can be updated, i.e its value can be increased or
decreased by an amount with the function
The parameters to this function are similar to
GNUNET_STATISTICS_set(), except that it takes the amount to be
changed as a type
int64_t instead of the value.
The library will combine multiple set or update operations into one message if the client performs requests at a rate that is faster than the available IPC with the STATISTICS service. Thus, the client does not have to worry about sending requests too quickly.
As interesting feature of STATISTICS lies in serving notifications
whenever a statistic of our interest is modified. This is achieved by
registering a watch through the function
The parameters of this function are similar to those of
GNUNET_STATISTICS_get(). Changes to the respective statistic’s value
will then cause the given iterator callback to be called. Note: A watch
can only be registered for a specific statistic. Hence the subsystem
name and the parameter name cannot be
NULL in a call to
A registered watch will keep notifying any value changes until
GNUNET_STATISTICS_watch_cancel() is called with the same parameters
that are used for registering the watch.
The STATISTICS Client-Service Protocol
To retrieve statistics, the client transmits a message of type
GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_STATISTICS_GET containing the given subsystem
name and statistic parameter to the STATISTICS service. The service
responds with a message of type
for each of the statistics parameters that match the client request for
the client. The end of information retrieved is signaled by the service
by sending a message of type
Setting and updating statistics
The subsystem name, parameter name, its value and the persistence flag
are communicated to the service through the message
When the service receives a message of type
GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_STATISTICS_SET, it retrieves the subsystem name
and checks for a statistic parameter with matching the name given in the
message. If a statistic parameter is found, the value is overwritten by
the new value from the message; if not found then a new statistic
parameter is created with the given name and value.
In addition to just setting an absolute value, it is possible to perform
a relative update by sending a message of type
GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_STATISTICS_SET with an update flag
GNUNET_STATISTICS_SETFLAG_RELATIVE) signifying that the value in
the message should be treated as an update value.
Watching for updates
The function registers the watch at the service by sending a message of
GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_STATISTICS_WATCH. The service then sends
notifications through messages of type
GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_STATISTICS_WATCH_VALUE whenever the statistic
parameter’s value is changed.