Scalability and Performance in Scala

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Scalability and Performance in Scala

Learn about tail recursion, views, blocking constructs, event sourcing, CRDT, and eventual consistency in terms of scalability and performance in Scala.

· Performance Zone ·
Free Resource

Boxing and unboxing (in the Java world) can have an exceptionally high cost when in a loop (it can create many heap allocations).

As for tail recursion, if you find yourself in a situation where you are doing a recursive call (i.e. where you should first find an already existing library function to do the operation instead of doing a recursive call), then do whatever is possible for the recursive call to be tail recursive. A function is tail recursive if the recursive call is the last instruction performed, which means the only first call is in the stack. A hint for many tail recursive calls is to pass some accumulator inside the recursive call, which means you are doing the calculation in the next step in the recursion as opposed to holding the accumulator outside the tail recursive call.

def tailrecSum(l: List[Int]): Int = {  
    def loop(list: List[Int], acc: Int): Int = list match {    
      case Nil => acc    
      case x :: xs => loop(xs, acc + x) // you see we pass the accumulator to the next recursive call. no calc after loop.  
    }  loop(l, 0) 

Views (in the Scala world) offer a way for a computation to be deferred downstream the computation. Add view to an eager evaluation collection that allows it. For example: val listView: SeqView[Int, List[Int]] = List(1, 2, 3).view.

Event sourcing describes an architectural approach to designing systems that rely on processing events over time instead of relying on a model of the current state.

The blocking {} (Scala) construct is used to notify the ExecutionContext that a computation is blocking. This allows the ExecutionContext to adapt its execution strategy. For example, the default global ExecutionContext will temporarily increase the number of threads in the pool when it performs a computation wrapped with blocking. A dedicated thread is created in the pool to execute the blocking computation, making sure that the rest of the pool remains available for CPU-bound computations.

CRDT stands for conflict-free replicated data types. A CRDT is a data structure that is specifically designed to ensure eventual consistency across multiple components without the need for synchronization. CRDTs are defined to make conflicts mathematically impossible. To be defined as a CRDT, a data structure has to support only commutative updates. That is, regardless of the order in which the update operations are applied, the end state must always be the same. When a system uses CRDTs, all the nodes can send each other update messages without a need for strict synchronization. The messages can be received in any order, and all the local states will converge to the same value eventually.

Eventual consistency is a well-known concept in distributed system that is not exclusive to CRDTs. This model guarantees that, eventually, if a piece of data is no longer modified, all nodes in a cluster will end up with the same value for this piece of data. Nodes send each other update notifications to keep their states synchronized. The difference with strong consistency is that at a given time, some nodes may see a slightly outdated state until they receive the update notice. All the nodes of the cluster hold the same piece of data (A = 0). Node 1 receives an update to set the value of A to 1. After updating its internal state, it broadcasts the update to the rest of the cluster. The messages reach their targets at different instants, which means that until we reach Step 4, A has a different value depending on the node. If a client queries Node 4 for the value of A at Step 3, they receive an older value, as the change has not yet been reflected in Node 4. This is the secret of eventual consistency without merge conflict.


performance, scala, scalability

Published at DZone with permission of Tomer Ben David , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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