Performance analysis of sandboxes for reactive tasks

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  • Article: Performance analysis of sandboxes for reactive tasks
  • Author(s): Bruce Merry
  • Journal: Olympiads in Informatics 4 (2010), 87-94

Abstract: Security mechanisms for programming contests introduce some overhead into time measurements. When large numbers of system calls are made, as is common in reactive tasks with processes communicating over pipes, this may significantly distort timing results. We compared the performance and consistency of two sandboxes based on different security mechanisms. We found that in-kernel security has negligible effect on measured run-times, while ptrace-based security can add overhead of around 75%. We also found that ptrace-based security on a dual-core CPU adds far greater overhead as well as producing highly variable results unless CPU affinity is used.

Keywords: sandbox, security, timing

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