[webkit-dev] BigO correlation tests

Nikos Andronikos Nikos.Andronikos at cisra.canon.com.au
Tue Apr 12 22:05:15 PDT 2016

Hey all,

We’ve noticed what we think is some flakiness with tests that attempt to
determine the BigO characteristics (using magnitude-perf.js) of
performance tests and would like some feedback from the community.

In our particular case, we are seeing a failure on the iOS simulator of
the following test:

See: https://webkit-queues.webkit.org/results/1107504
From bug: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=156096

The result on the iOS sim is falling just short of being correlated to
linear due to the tolerances chosen.

The numbers for an example run are:
rSquared 0.8817542004431037
rSquaredXLog 0.44260332869587665
rSquaredXYLog 0.8678643749155268
rSquaredMax 0.8817542004431037

And the relevant bit of code in magnitude-perf.js that determines
correlation is:

  var bigO = Magnitude.INDETERMINATE;

  // FIXME: These numbers were chosen arbitrarily.
  // Are there a better value to check against? Do we need to check
  if (rSquared < 0.8 && rSquaredMax < 0.9)
      bigO = Magnitude.CONSTANT;
  else if (rSquaredMax > 0.9) {
      if (rSquared == rSquaredMax)
          bigO = Magnitude.LINEAR;
      else if (rSquaredXLog == rSquaredMax)
          bigO = Magnitude.LOGARITHMIC;
      else if (rSquaredXYLog == rSquaredMax)
          bigO = Magnitude.POLYNOMIAL;

So you can see we don’t quite pass the ‘else if (rSquaredMax 0.9)’ test
and so the result is given as indeterminate.

My feeling is that the numbers we are getting are correlated closely
enough to Magnitude.LINEAR, and we should consider changing the values in

So I’d like to propose that we lower the thresholds and change the following lines to check the slope of the linear correlation
and the correlation coefficient:

  if (rSquared < 0.8 && rSquaredMax < 0.9)
      bigO = Magnitude.CONSTANT;
  else if (rSquaredMax 0.9) {
  if (rSquared > 0.7) {
      bigO = Magnitude.LINEAR;
  else if (Math.abs(slope) < 1.0E-04)
      bigO = Magnitude.CONSTANT;
  else {
      // calculate and check correlation coefficient for rSquaredXLog and rSquaredXYLog

This check first tests the correlation coefficient (i.e. if linear order) – note the threshold is lowered to 0.7.
Then it checks whether the performance is independent of the number of iterations/objects (i.e. a shallow slope).
Then we calculate and check the other cases (i.e. polynomial or logarithmic).
Failing all other checks, the order defaults to indeterminate.

We are considering submitting a patch to make this change, but would like
input from anyone who has experience with this test framework.

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