Documentation - Redise Pack

A guide to Redise Pack installation, operation and administration

open all | close all

11.3.1 Revisiting group autocomplete

Back in chapter 6, we introduced an autocomplete procedure that used a ZSET to store user names to be autocompleted on.

As you may remember, we calculated a pair of strings that would surround all of the values that we wanted to autocomplete on. When we had those values, we’d insert our data into the ZSET, and then WATCH the ZSET for anyone else making similar changes. We’d then fetch 10 items between the two endpoints and remove them between a MULTI/EXEC pair. Let’s take a quick look at the code that we used.

Listing 11.10Our autocomplete code from section 6.1.2
def autocomplete_on_prefix(conn, guild, prefix):
  start, end = find_prefix_range(prefix)
  identifier = str(uuid.uuid4())
  start += identifier
  end += identifier

Find the start/ end range for the prefix.

  zset_name = 'members:' + guild
  conn.zadd(zset_name, start, 0, end, 0)

Add the start/end range items to the ZSET.

  pipeline = conn.pipeline(True)
  while 1:
      sindex = pipeline.zrank(zset_name, start)
      eindex = pipeline.zrank(zset_name, end)
      erange = min(sindex + 9, eindex - 2)

Find the ranks of our end points.

        pipeline.zrem(zset_name, start, end)
        pipeline.zrange(zset_name, sindex, erange)
        items = pipeline.execute()[-1]

Get the values inside our range, and clean up.

      except redis.exceptions.WatchError:

Retry if someone modified our autocomplete ZSET.

    return [item for item in items if '{' not in item

Remove start/end entries if an autocomplete was in progress.

If few autocomplete operations are being performed at one time, this shouldn’t cause many retries. But regardless of retries, we still have a lot of code related to handling hopefully rare retries—roughly 40%, depending on how we count lines. Let’s get rid of all of that retry code, and move the core functionality of this function into a Lua script. The result of this change is shown in the next listing.

Listing 11.11 Autocomplete on prefix using Redis scripting
def autocomplete_on_prefix(conn, guild, prefix):
  start, end = find_prefix_range(prefix)
  identifier = str(uuid.uuid4())

Get the range and identifier.

  items = autocomplete_on_prefix_lua(conn,
    ['members:' + guild],
    [start+identifier, end+identifier])

Fetch the data from Redis with the Lua script.

  return [item for item in items if '{' not in item]

Filter out any items that we don’t want.

autocomplete_on_prefix_lua = script_load(''''zadd', KEYS[1], 0, ARGV[1], 0, ARGV[2])

Add our placeholder endpoints to the ZSET.

local sindex ='zrank', KEYS[1], ARGV[1])
local eindex ='zrank', KEYS[1], ARGV[2])

Find the endpoint positions in the ZSET.

eindex = math.min(sindex + 9, eindex - 2)

Calculate the proper range of values to fetch.'zrem', KEYS[1], unpack(ARGV))

Remove the placeholder endpoints.

return'zrange', KEYS[1], sindex, eindex)

Fetch and return our results.


The body of the Lua script should be somewhat familiar; it’s a direct translation of the chapter 6 code. Not only is the resulting code significantly shorter, it also executes much faster. Using a similar benchmarking method to what we used in chapter 6, we ran 1, 2, 5, and 10 concurrent processes that performed autocomplete requests against the same guild as fast as possible. To keep our chart simple, we only calculated attempts to autocomplete and successful autocompletes, over the course of 10 seconds.

Table 11.3 shows the results of this test.

Looking at our table, when executing the older autocomplete function that uses WATCH/MULTI/EXEC transactions, the probability of finishing a transaction is reduced as we add more clients, and the total attempts over 10 seconds hit a peak limit. On the other hand, our Lua autocomplete can attempt and finish far more times every second, primarily due to the reduced overhead of fewer network round trips, as well as

Table 11.3 Performance of our original autocomplete versus our Lua-based autocomplete over 10 seconds
Benchmark configuration Tries in 10 seconds Autocompletes in 10 seconds
Original autocomplete, 1 client 26,339 26,339
Original autocomplete, 2 clients 35,188 17,551
Original autocomplete, 5 clients 59,544 10,989
Original autocomplete, 10 clients 57,305 6,141
Lua autocomplete, 1 client 64,440 64,440
Lua autocomplete, 2 clients 89,140 89,140
Lua autocomplete, 5 clients 125,971 125,971
Lua autocomplete, 10 clients 128,217 128,217

not running into any WATCH errors due to contention. Looking at just the 10-client version of both, the 10-client Lua autocomplete is able to complete more than 20 times as many autocomplete operations as the original autocomplete.

Now that we’ve seen how well we can do on one of our simpler examples, let’s look at how we can improve our marketplace.