This is an overview documentation for testing SmartSim and SmartRedis


SmartSim utilizes pytest for running its test suite. In the top level of SmartSim, users can run multiple testing commands with the developer Makefile.

To run, execute make plus one of the below commands from the top level of the SmartSim directory:

test                - Build and run all tests
test-verbose        - Build and run all tests [verbosely]
test-debug          - Build and run all tests with debug output
test-cov            - Run tests with coverage
test-full           - Run all WLM tests with Python coverage (full test suite)
                      WARNING: do not run test-full on shared systems.

For the test to run, you must have the requirements-dev.txt dependencies installed in your python environment.

There are two ways to do this 1. Install smartsim with dev extension pip install -e .[dev] 2. pip install -r requirements-dev.txt after you install smartsim.

Test Suites

There are three test suite levels within SmartSim
  • local

  • on_wlm

  • full


local runs by default and doesn’t launch any jobs out onto a system through a workload manager like Slurm. All jobs are contained on the local machine.

This is the test suite that runs in GitHub actions each time a commit is used.

To run the local tests

make test
# or
make test-cov # for coverage
# or
make test-debug # for CLi logging output


This is the same test suite as the local test suite with the addition of the tests located within the on_wlm directory.

To run the on_wlm test suite, users will have to be on a system with one of the supported workload managers. Additionally, users will need to obtain an allocation of at least 3 nodes.

Examples of how to obtain allocations on systems with the launchers:

# for slurm (with srun)
salloc -N 3 -A account --exclusive -t 00:10:00

# for PBSPro (with aprun)
qsub -l select=3 -l place=scatter -l walltime=00:10:00 -q queue

# for Cobalt (with aprun)
qsub -n 3 -t 00:10:00 -A account -q queue -I

# for LSF (with jsrun)
bsub -Is -W 00:30 -nnodes 3 -P project $SHELL

Values for queue, account, or project should be substituted appropriately.

Once in an iterative allocation, users will need to set the test launcher environment variable: SMARTSIM_TEST_LAUNCHER to one of the following values

  • slurm

  • cobalt

  • pbs

  • lsf

  • local

In addition to the SMARTSIM_TEST_LAUNCHER variable, there are a few other runtime test configuration options for SmartSim

  • SMARTSIM_TEST_LAUNCHER: Workload manager of the system (local by default)

  • SMARTSIM_TEST_ACCOUNT: Project account for allocations (used for customer systems mostly)

  • SMARTSIM_TEST_DEVICE: cpu or gpu

  • SMARTSIM_TEST_INTERFACE: network interface to use.

For the SMARTSIM_TEST_INTERFACE, the default is ipogif0 which is the high speed network on Horizon, and other XC systems with the Aries interconnect.

Other possible values are:
  • ipogif0

  • ib0 (and other ib variants)

  • eth0

For the local test suite, the network interface does not need to be set.

A full example on an internal SLURM system

salloc -N 3 -A account --exclusive -t 03:00:00
make test-debug


The full test suite runs the on_wlm tests in addition to tests that will allocate and run on their own allocations. This is the only way that the batch interface is tested.

Unless you know what you’re doing, do not run this on customer systems

Writing Tests for SmartSim

When you introduce new code, it’s imperative that tests accompany your PR. Below are some guidelines for writing new tests.

  • All test files start with test_

  • All test functions start with test_

  • Function name should signal whats being tested

  • All static test files should go in SmartSim/tests/test_configs

  • All test output should be located in SmartSim/tests/test_output (see below on conftest.py)

Write most tests within the base SmartSim/tests directory unless they are meant to specifically test a launcher integration that necessitates its placement into the on_wlm or the full_wlm directory.

Any tests that run AI/ML tests for the backend should be placed in the SmartSim/tests/backend directory.

Most tests utilize the convenience functions with conftest.py which can be added as arguments to test functions to supply runtime values for test directories and what not. See tests for examples.


Before building the tests, it is assumed that the base dependencies for SmartRedis described in the installation instructions have already been executed.

Test Suites

There are two test suites for SmartRedis

  • Integration

  • Unit

Both test suites are run together.

Building and Running the Test Suites

To build the tests, you first need to install the dependencies for testing. To download SmartRedis related testing dependencies, run the following:

make test-deps
# or to run tests on GPU hardware:
make test-deps-gpu

The test suite is currently written to be run on CPU hardware to test model and script executions. Testing on GPU hardware currently requires modifications to the test suite.

The tests require - GCC > 5 - CMake > 3

Since these are usually system libraries we do not install them for the user

Setting up Test Environment and Redis

After installing dependencies and setting up your testing environment with setup_test_env.sh, all tests can be built with the following command:

make build-tests

Before running the tests, users will have to spin up a Redis cluster instance and set the SSDB environment variable.

To spin up a local Redis cluster, use the script in utils/create_cluster as follows:

cd path/to/smartredis          # navigate to the top level dir of smartredis
conda activate YOUR_CONDA_ENV  # activate python env with SmartRedis requirements
source setup_test_env.sh       # Setup smartredis environment
cd utils/create_cluster
python local_cluster.py        # spin up Redis cluster locally
export SSDB=",,"  # Set database location

A similar script utils/create_cluster/slurm_cluster.py assists with launching a Redis cluster for testing on Slurm managed machines. This script has only been tested on a Cray XC, and it may not be portable to all machines.

Running the Tests

If you are running the tests in a new terminal from the one used to build the tests and run the Redis cluster, remember to load your python environment with SmartRedis dependencies, source the setup_test_env.sh file, and set the SSDB environment variable.

To build and run all tests, run the following command in the top level of the smartredis repository.

make test

You can also run tests for individual clients as follows:

test                           - Build and run all tests (C, C++, Fortran, Python)
test-verbose                   - Build and run all tests [verbosely]
test-c                         - Build and run all C tests
test-cpp                       - Build and run all C++ tests
unit-test-cpp                  - Build and run unit tests for C++
test-py                        - run python tests
test-fortran                   - run fortran tests
testpy-cov                     - run python tests with coverage
testcpp-cov                    - run cpp unit tests with coverage

Tearing down the Test Environment

To stop Redis, use the following commands

cd utils/create_cluster
python local_cluster.py --stop # stop the Redis cluster

The same works for the Slurm variant, but you can also just release the allocation which is easier.

Writing Tests for SmartRedis

Below are some guidelines for writing new tests. These are fairly similar to SmartSim.

  • Place tests for each client in their language directory (i.e. tests for C client in SmartRedis/tests/c)

  • All test files start with test_

  • All test functions start with test_

  • Function name should signal whats being tested

Writing Integration Tests

The integrations tests are run with the pytest framework and some helper python files that spin up the client drivers. Follow the naming convention above and the tests will be included.

Writing Unit Tests

All unit tests for the C++ client are located at tests/cpp/unit-tests/ and use the Catch2 test framework. The unit tests mostly follow a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) style by using Catch2’s SCENARIO, GIVEN, WHEN, and THEN syntax.

Files that contain Catch2 unit tests should be prefixed with test_ in order to keep a consistent naming convention.

When adding new unit tests, create a new SCENARIO in the appropriate file. If no such file exists, then it is preferred that a new file (prefixed with test_) is created.

  • New unit tests should be placed in tests/cpp/unit-tests/

  • Testing files should be prefixed with test_

  • It is preferred that new unit tests are in a new SCENARIO

Continuous Integration (CI)

GitHub Actions is our public facing CI that runs in the GitHub cloud.

The actions are defined using yaml files are are located in the .github/workflows/ directory of SmartSim and SmartRedis.

Each pull request, push and merge the test suite for SmartRedis and SmartSim are run. For SmartSim, this is the local test suite with the local launcher.