Benchmarks are set up in the NSuite source tree according to a specific layout. Different benchmarks models can share an underlying benchmark. For example, the ring and kway benchmarks are different configurations of what we call a busy-ring model. In this case, the busy-ring is called a benchmark ENGINE and kway is a benchmark MODEL. All scripts and inputs for ENGINE are in the path benchmarks/engines/ENGINE, and inputs for a MODEL are in benchmarks/models/MODEL.

Every model MODEL must provide a configuration script benchmarks/models/MODEL/ that takes the following arguments: $model                \ # model name
          $config               \ # configuration name
          $ns_base_path         \ # the base path of nsuite
          $ns_config_path       \ # path to config directory
          $ns_bench_input_path  \ # path to benchmark input base directory
          $ns_bench_output      \ # path to benchmark output base directory
          $output_format          # format string for simulator+model+config

The script will in turn generate a benchmark runner for each simulation engine:

  1. $ns_bench_input_path/$model/$config/
  2. $ns_bench_input_path/$model/$config/
  3. $ns_bench_input_path/$model/$config/

These scripts should generate benchmark output in the per-simulator path $ns_bench_output/$output_format where the $output_format defaults to $model/$config/$engine.


NSuite does not specify how the contents of benchmarks/engines/ENGINE have to be laid out.

Performance reporting

Each benchmark run has to report metrics such as simulation time, memory consumption, the number of cells in model, and so on. These are output in the formats described in Benchmark output.

Arbor has a standardised way of measuring and reporting metrics using what it calls meters. NSuite provides a Python module in common/python/ that offers the same functionality in Python, which can be used for the NEURON benchmarks.

With this standard output format, the scrpts/ script can be used to automatically generate the CSV output.