Algorithm::Backoff::RetryTimeouts - A backoff-style retry algorithm with adjustable timeout support


version v1.0.0


    use Algorithm::Backoff::RetryTimeouts;

    my $retry_algo = Algorithm::Backoff::RetryTimeouts->new(
        # common adjustments (defaults shown)
        max_attempts          => 8,
        max_actual_duration   => 50,
        jitter_factor         => 0.1,
        timeout_jitter_factor => 0.1,
        adjust_timeout_factor => 0.5,
        min_adjust_timeout    => 5,

        # other defaults
        initial_delay         => sqrt(2),
        exponent_base         => sqrt(2),
        delay_on_success      => 0,
        min_delay             => 0,
        max_delay             => undef,
        consider_actual_delay => 1,

    my ($delay, $timeout);
    $timeout = $retry_algo->timeout;

    my $is_successful = 0;
    while (!$is_successful) {
        $actionee->timeout( $timeout );
        $is_successful = $actionee->do_the_thing;

        ($delay, $timeout) = $is_successful ? $retry_algo->success : $retry_algo->failure;
        die "Ran out of time" if $delay == -1;
        sleep $delay;


This module is a subclass of Algorithm::Backoff::Exponential that adds support for adjustable timeouts during each retry. This also comes with a sane set of defaults as a good baseline for most kinds of retry operations.

A combination of features solves for most problems that would arise from retry operations:

  • Maximum attempts - Forces the algorithm to give up if repeated attempts don't yield success.

  • Maximum duration - Forces the algorithm to give up if no successes happen within a certain time frame.

  • Exponential backoff - A sqrt(2) exponential delay keeps single retries from waiting too long, while spreading out repeated retries that may fail too quickly and run out of max attempts. This also decreases the congestion that happens with repeated attempts.

  • Jitter - Adding random jitter to the retry delays solves for the Thundering Herd problem.

  • Adjustable timeouts - Providing an adjustable timeout after each request solves the opposite problem of exponential backoffs: slower, unresponsive errors that gobble up all of the max duration time in one go. Each new timeout is a certain percentage of the time left.

Typical scenario

Here's an example scenario of the algorithm with existing defaults:

    $retry_algo is created, and timer starts

    Initial timeout is 25s

    1st attempt fails instantly

    $retry_algo says to wait 1.4s (±10% jitter), and use a timeout of 24.3s

    2nd attempt fails instantly

    $retry_algo says to wait 2s (±10% jitter), and use a timeout of 23.3s

    3rd attempt fails after the full 23.3s timeout

    $retry_algo says to not wait (since the attempt already used up the delay), and use
    a timeout of 11.7s

    4th attempt succeeds


The "new" constructor takes all of the base options from Algorithm::Backoff::Exponential. Some of the defaults are changed (also shown in the "SYNOPSIS" above), but otherwise function the same way.

The following new options are added in this module:

  • adjust_timeout_factor => ufloat (default: 0.5)

    How much of the remaining time to use for the next attempt's timeout, as a factor between 0 and 1.

    In order to prevent a single attempt from using up all of the remaining time, an adjustable timeout will force the attempt to only use a portion of the time. By default, only 50% of the remaining time will be set as the next timeout value.

  • min_adjust_timeout => ufloat (default: 5)

    Minimum timeout value, in seconds.

    This value bypasses any max_actual_duration checks, so the total time spent on sleeping and attempts may end up exceeding that value by a small amount (up to max_actual_duration + min_adjust_timeout). In this case, future failures will return a delay of -1 as expected.

  • timeout_jitter_factor => float (default: 0.1)

    How much randomness to add to the adjustable timeout.

    Delay jitter may not be enough to desynchronize two processes that are consistently timing out on the same problem. In those cases, the delay will usually be zero and won't have any sort of jitter to solve the problem itself. A jitter factor against the timeout will ensure simultaneous attempts have slightly different timeout windows.



    my ($delay, $timeout) = $retry_algo->success([ $timestamp ]);

Log a successful attempt. If not specified, $timestamp defaults to current time. Unlike the base class, this method will return a list containing both the suggested delay and the suggested timeout for the next attempt.


    my ($delay, $timeout) = $retry_algo->failure([ $timestamp ]);

Log a failed attempt. If not specified, $timestamp defaults to current time. Unlike the base class, this method will return a list containing both the suggested delay and the suggested timeout for the next attempt.


    my $delay = $retry_algo->delay;

Returns the last suggested delay, in seconds.

The delay will return -1 to suggest that the process should give up and fail, if max_attempts or max_actual_duration have been reached.


    my $timeout = $retry_algo->delay;

Returns the last suggested timeout, in seconds. If no attempts have been logged, it will suggest an initial timeout to start with.

This will be a floating-point number, so you may need to convert it to an integer if your timeout system doesn't support decimals.

A timeout of -1 will be returned if max_actual_duration was forcefully turned off.


Algorithm::Backoff - Base distro for this module


Grant Street Group <>


This software is Copyright (c) 2020 - 2021 by Grant Street Group.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The Artistic License 2.0 (GPL Compatible)