Streaming JSON Parsing Performance Test: Jackson vs. GSON
A few years ago, when speed and memory became a concern in one of my Android apps, I implemented some streaming JSON parsing using Jackson. At the time I chose Jackson over Gson because the benchmarks seemed to show it was significantly faster*; however, I've heard that recent versions of Gson rival Jackson for speed. I want to re-examine the benchmarks again to make sure I'm choosing the right library.
The best benchmark I found is at json-benchmark. There were a number of other benchmarks out there but they didn't appeal to me for various reasons, either because they didn't provide source, the benchmark didn't seem very fair, or it didn't test on the Dalvik VM.
Unfortunately, json-benchmark's last documented test is from two and a half years ago. I decided to try to reproduce thesetests against the latest libraries, Jackson 2.3 and Gson 2.2.4. There were a few trials getting the test to run again:
- The JSON benchmarking code has moved to libcore, so I checked out and referenced the latest benchmarks from there.
- The ParseBenchmarks code to test Jackson and GSON directly was removed, so I had to re-add it (using the same old code, but with some package names updated).
- vogar uses old assumptions about where "dx" (and related tools) are located; it still thinks they are in $ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools. Rather than fix and recompile I just made my files match its assumptions for a bit.Once I got it running, I ran the tests on a Nexus 7 (2nd generation), running Android 4.4. Here's the results:
document api ms linear runtime TWEETS ANDROID_STREAM 19.82 === TWEETS JACKSON_STREAM 11.47 == TWEETS GSON_STREAM 17.98 === TWEETS GSON_DOM 39.00 ======= TWEETS ORG_JSON 30.86 ===== TWEETS XML_PULL 26.08 ==== TWEETS XML_DOM 85.32 =============== TWEETS XML_SAX 33.83 ====== READER_SHORT ANDROID_STREAM 4.60 = READER_SHORT JACKSON_STREAM 2.99 = READER_SHORT GSON_STREAM 4.36 = READER_SHORT GSON_DOM 8.07 = READER_SHORT ORG_JSON 6.42 = READER_SHORT XML_PULL 6.75 = READER_SHORT XML_DOM 14.84 == READER_SHORT XML_SAX 5.54 = READER_LONG ANDROID_STREAM 38.24 ======= READER_LONG JACKSON_STREAM 18.12 === READER_LONG GSON_STREAM 43.81 ======== READER_LONG GSON_DOM 72.34 ============= READER_LONG ORG_JSON 52.47 ========= READER_LONG XML_PULL 65.53 ============ READER_LONG XML_DOM 160.02 ============================== READER_LONG XML_SAX 47.37 ========
Of course your mileage may vary depending on what exactly you're parsing, but with somewhere between 1.5-2x the speed I think I'll stick Jackson when I need my JSON parsing to be fast.
* Speed isn't everything; if Gson was only marginally slower than Jackson I still would have preferred it; I find their streaming parsing paradigm easier to use.