go get

Imagine thousands of machines across multiple cloud instances and data centers executing simultaneous processing for you with minimal deployment effort. Enter Atomizer - a Go library that facilitates massively parallel and distributed computing. Fashioned after Go itself using similar CSP paradigms.

by devnw

v1.0.5 (see all)License:MIT
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Atomizer - Massively Parallel Distributed Computing

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Created to facilitate simplified construction of distributed systems, the Atomizer library was built with simplicity in mind. Exposing a simple API which allows users to create "Atoms" (def) that contain the atomic elements of process logic for an application, which, when paired with an "Electron"(def) payload are executed in the Atomizer runtime.


Getting Started

To use Atomizer you will first need to add it to your module.

go get -u

I highly recommend checking out the Test App for a functional example of the Atomizer framework in action.

To create an instance of Atomizer in your app you will need a Conductor (def). Currently there is an AMQP conductor that was built for Atomizer which can be found here: AMQP, or you can create your own conductor by following the Conductor creation instructions.

Once you have registered your Conductor using one of the Element Registration methods then you must create and register your Atom implementations following the Atom Creation instructions.

After registering at least one Conductor and one Atom in your Atomizer instance you can begin accepting requests. Here is an example of initializing the framework and registering an Atom and Conductor to begin processing.

// Initialize Atomizer
a := Atomize(ctx, &MyConductor{}, &MyAtom{})

// Start the Atomizer processing system
err := a.Exec()

if err != nil {

Now that the framework is initialized you can push processing requests through your Conductor for your registered Atoms and the Atomizer framework will execute the Electron(def) payload by bonding it with the correct registered Atom and returning the resulting Properties over the Conductor back to the sender.

Test App

Since the concepts here are new to people seeing this for the first time a capstone team of students from the University of Illinois Springfield put together a test app to showcase a working implementation of the Atomizer framework.

This Test App implements a MonteCarlo π simulation using the Atomizer framework. The Atom implementation can be found here: MonteCarlo π. This implementation uses two Atoms. The first Atom "MonteCarlo" is a Spawner which creates payloads for the Toss Atom which is an Atomic Atom.

To run a simulation follow the steps laid out in this blog post which will describe how to pull down a copy of the Monte Carlo π docker containers running Atomizer.

Atomizer Test Console

This test application will allow you to run the same MonteCarlo π simulation from command line without needing to setup a NodeJS app or pull down the corresponding Docker container.

Thank you to

Conductor Creation

Creation of a conductor involves implementing the Conductor interface as described in the Atomizer library which can be seen below.

// Conductor is the interface that should be implemented for passing
// electrons to the atomizer that need processing. This should generally be
// registered with the atomizer in an initialization script
type Conductor interface {

    // Receive gets the atoms from the source
    // that are available to atomize
    Receive(ctx context.Context) <-chan *Electron

    // Complete mark the completion of an electron instance
    // with applicable statistics
    Complete(ctx context.Context, p *Properties) error

    // Send sends electrons back out through the conductor for
    // additional processing
    Send(ctx context.Context, electron *Electron) (<-chan *Properties, error)

    // Close cleans up the conductor

Once you have created your Conductor you must then register it into the framework using one of the Element Registration methods for Atomizer.

Atom Creation

The Atomizer library is the framework on which you can build your distributed system. To do this you need to create "Atoms"(def) which implement your specific business logic. To do this you must implement the Atom interface seen below.

type Atom interface {
    Process(ctx context.Context, c Conductor, e *Electron,) ([]byte, error)

Once you have created your Atom you must then register it into the framework using one of the Element Registration methods for Atomizer.

Electron Creation

Electrons(def) are one of the most important elements of the Atomizer framework because they supply the data necessary for the framework to properly execute an Atom since the Atom implementation is pure business logic.

// Electron is the base electron that MUST parse from the payload
// from the conductor
type Electron struct {
    // SenderID is the unique identifier for the node that sent the
    // electron
    SenderID string

    // ID is the unique identifier of this electron
    ID string

    // AtomID is the identifier of the atom for this electron instance
    // this is generally `package.Type`. Use the atomizer.ID() method
    // if unsure of the type for an Atom.
    AtomID string

    // Timeout is the maximum time duration that should be allowed
    // for this instance to process. After the duration is exceeded
    // the context should be canceled and the processing released
    // and a failure sent back to the conductor
    Timeout *time.Duration

    // CopyState lets atomizer know if it should copy the state of the
    // original atom registration to the new atom instance when processing
    // a newly received electron
    // NOTE: Copying the state of an Atom as registered requires that ALL
    // fields that are to be copied are **EXPORTED** otherwise they are
    // skipped
    CopyState bool

    // Payload is to be used by the registered atom to properly unmarshal
    // the []byte for the actual atom instance. RawMessage is used to
    // delay unmarshal of the payload information so the atom can do it
    // internally
    Payload []byte

The most important part for an Atom is the Payload. This []byte holds data which can be read in your Atom. This is how the Atom receives state information for processing. Decoding the Payload is the responsibility of the Atom implementation. The other fields of the Electron are used by the Atomizer internally, but are available to an Atom as part of the Process method if necessary.

Electrons are provided to the Atomizer framework through a registered Conductor, generally a Message Queue.

Properties - Atom Results

The results of Atom processing are contained in the Properties struct in the Atomizer library. This struct contains metadata about the processing that took place as well as the results or errors of the specific Atom which was executed from a request.

// Properties is the struct for storing properties information after the
// processing of an atom has completed so that it can be sent to the
// original requestor
type Properties struct {
    ElectronID string
    AtomID     string
    Start      time.Time
    End        time.Time
    Error      error
    Result     []byte

The Result field is the []byte that is returned from the Atom that was executed, and in general the Error property contains the error which was returned from the Atom as well, however if there are errors in processing an Atom that are not related to the internal processing of the Atom that error will be returned on the Properties struct in place of the Atom error as it is unlikely the Atom executed.


Atomizer exports a method called Events which returns an and Errors which returns an When you call either of these methods with a buffer of 0 they utilize an internal channel within the package which then MUST be monitored for events/errors or it will block processing.

The purpose of these methods is to allow for users to monitor events occurring inside of Atomizer. Because these use channels either pass a buffer value to the method or handle the channel in a go routine to keep it from blocking your application.

Along with the Events and Errors methods, Atomizer exports two important structs. atomizer.Error and atomizer.Event. These contain information such as the AtomID, ElectronID or ConductorID that the event applies to as well as any message or error that may be part of the event.

Both atomizer.Error and atomizer.Event implement the fmt.Stringer interface to make for easy logging.

atomizer.Error also implements the error interface as well as the Unwrap method for nested errors.

atomizer.Event also implements the interface to ensure the the event package can correctly handle the event.

// Event indicates an atomizer event has taken
// place that is not categorized as an error
// Event implements the stringer interface but
// does NOT implement the error interface
type Event struct {
    // Message from atomizer about this error
    Message string `json:"message"`

    // ElectronID is the associated electron instance
    // where the error occurred. Empty ElectronID indicates
    // the error was not part of a running electron instance.
    ElectronID string `json:"electronID"`

    // AtomID is the atom which was processing when
    // the error occurred. Empty AtomID indicates
    // the error was not part of a running atom.
    AtomID string `json:"atomID"`

    // ConductorID is the conductor which was being
    // used for receiving instructions
    ConductorID string `json:"conductorID"`

// Error is an error type which provides specific
// atomizer information as part of an error
type Error struct {

    // Event is the event that took place to create
    // the error and contains metadata relevant to the error
    Event *Event `json:"event"`

    // Internal is the internal error
    Internal error `json:"internal"`

Element Registration

There are three methods in Atomizer for registering Atoms and Conductors.

Init Registration

Atoms and Conductors can be registered in an init method in your code as seen below.

func init() {
    err := atomizer.Register(&MonteCarlo{})
    if err != nil {

Atomizer Instantiation Registration

Atoms and Conductors can be passed as the second argument to the Atomize method. This parameter is variadic and can accept any number of registrations.

    a := Atomize(ctx, &MonteCarlo{})

Direct Registration

Direct registration happens when you use the Register method directly on an Atomizer instance.

NOTE: The Register call can happen before or after the a.Exec() method call.

a := Atomize(ctx)

// Start the Atomizer processing system
err := a.Exec()

if err != nil {

// Register the Atom
err = a.Register(&MonteCarlo{})
if err != nil {

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