This tutorial explains how a component (of a benchmark or a system adapter) can be created using the interfaces and classes from the core library of the HOBBIT platform. This article describes the general development. It is assumed that the component is programmed in Java using Maven. After reading it you might want to take a look at the development of a system adapter or of a benchmark component.

Project creation

At first, a Java Maven project has to be created. In the pom file of this project, the following lines should be added.

			<name>University Leipzig, AKSW Maven2 Repository</name>
			<name>University Leipzig, AKSW Maven2 Repository</name>

		<!-- Add a slf4j log binding here -->

					<!-- filter all the META-INF files of other artifacts -->
						<transformer implementation="org.apache.maven.plugins.shade.resource.ServicesResourceTransformer" />

The lines add the AKSW repository containing the core library. Additionally, the shaded plugin is added which is used to create a jar file that contains the code of the project as well as all its dependencies.

Components (in general)

The Component interface

A single benchmark comprises several components (as described in the platform overview) and a system adapter can be seen as a single component as well. All these components should implement the org.hobbit.core.components.Component interface. It defines the following methods.

	public void init() throws Exception;

	public void run() throws Exception;

	public void close() throws IOException;

The typical work flow of these components is straight forward and can be seen by inspecting the ComponentStarter class that is used to execute the components.

public class ComponentStarter {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		Component component = null;
		boolean success = true;
		try {
			component = createComponentInstance(args[0]);
			// initialize the component
			// run the component;
		} catch (Throwable t) {
			LOGGER.error("Exception while executing component. Exiting with error code.", t);
			success = false;
		} finally {

		if (!success) {


After its creation, the component instance is initialized. Then, its run method is called before its close method is called inside the finally block.

Apart from this work flow, the example shows the following important features of a component

  • The component can be instantiated by using only its class name. Thus, it has to offer a constructor that needs no parameters.
  • If a component encounters a severe error (in the code above such an error is indicated by an uncatched Throwable or Exception) the process is exited with an error code. However, some components might have more than one thread. If another thread than the main thread needs to be able to close the complete process by calling System.exit(ERROR_EXIT_CODE) this thread should call the close method of the component before to make sure that connections that a component might have end up in an undefined state.

The implementation of a typical component might extend an already existing abstract component implementation. However, in most cases it looks like the following:

public class ExampleComponent extends SomeAbstractExampleComponent {

	public ExampleComponent() {
		/* In most cases the constructor is empty. It is better to execute
		 * the needed commands for the class initialization inside the
		 * init method since the super classes should be initialized before
		 * your class is initializing itself (and might use functionalities
		 * of a super class).

	public void init() throws Exception {
        // Always init the super class first!

		// Your initialization code comes here

	public void run() throws Exception {
		// Your component execution code comes here

	public void close() throws IOException {
		// Free the resources you requested here

        // Always close the super class after yours!

Using the command queue

The abstract classes offer an easy usage of the command queue. In most cases, a direct usage of the command queue shouldn’t be necessary. However, the abstract classes offer the following methods to send a message to the command queue:

protected void sendToCmdQueue(byte command) throws IOException;

protected void sendToCmdQueue(byte command, byte data[]) throws IOException;

protected void sendToCmdQueue(byte command, byte data[], BasicProperties props) throws IOException;

It can be seen that the methods take the byte of the command that should be send as well as the optional data that can be added to the message. The last method accepts a BasicProperties instance with which the communication can be configured in more detail. However, in nearly all cases these properties are not needed.

Commands that are received by a component can be handled by overriding the receiveCommand method.

public void receiveCommand(byte command, byte[] data) {
    // handle command

    // call method of super class!
    super.receiveCommand(command, data);

It is highly recommended to call the super class at the end of the method to make sure that the abstract classes are working as expected.

Creating and stopping containers

As described in the general hints on components the platform offers the creation of additional Docker containers. This functionality is used by the benchmark controller to create the other benchmark components. In the same way, it can be used by the system adapter to create multiple instances of the system or by any other component to create containers if they are required. The abstract classes for the components ease this by offering the following methods.

protected String createContainer(String imageName, String[] envVariables);

protected void stopContainer(String containerName);

Note that the createContainer method returns the name of the created container that serves as the host name in the virtual network.


For the creation of Docker images docker files have to be created. Let’s assume that the example project has been compiled and the shaded plugin generated the file target/example-1.0.0.jar.

FROM java

ADD target/example-1.0.0.jar /example/example-1.0.0.jar

WORKDIR /example

CMD java -cp example.jar org.example.ExampleDataGenerator

This docker file tells Docker

  • that the image extends a container in which a Java program can be run,
  • that the generated jar file should be copied to the example directory,
  • that this directory is our working directory and
  • that it should execute the ComponentStarter that will load our component (in this example it is the ExampleDataGenerator)


The offered abstract classes use the slf4j logging library with a binding to log4j. However, using the abstract classes without additional configuration of the logging will lead to the following Warnings instead of log messages:

log4j:WARN No appenders could be found for logger (org.hobbit.benchmark.platform.Temp).
log4j:WARN Please initialize the log4j system properly.
log4j:WARN See for more info.

An easy way to configure a log4j appender is to add a file to the project (e.g., to src/main/resources in a maven project) that could have the following content:

# Direct log messages to stdout

log4j.appender.stdout.layout.ConversionPattern=%d %p [%c] - <%m>%n

This file defines a simple log appender that writes all log messages which have at least the log level INFO to the console. For more information on configuring log4j, please have a look at its documentation at

If a different logging should be used and a bridge from slf4j to this logging is available, the log4j binding has to be excluded in your projects pom file using.

		<!-- Hobbit core -->