SuperJMN SuperJMN - 4 months ago 24
C# Question

How to build a rate-limiting API with Observables?

I would like to create a simple Calculator service that has a single method to add numbers. This

Add
method should be
async
and has to limit the number of concurrent calls being made at a given time. For instance, no more than 5 concurrent calls per second. If the rate limit is exceeded, the call should throw an exception.

The class should be like:

public class RateLimitingCalculator
{
public async Task<int> Add(int a, int b)
{
//...
}
}


Any ideas? I would like implement it with Reactive Extensions, but if it's better to use another strategy, I would stick to it!
Thanks!!

Answer

I don't think using Rx makes sense here, unless you can rewrite your method into something like public IObservable<int> Add(IObservable<Tuple<int, int>> values), as suggested by Enigmativity in a comment.

What I would do is to separate the concern of rate limiting into a separate class. That way, your code could look something like this:

public class RateLimitingCalculator
{
    private RateLimiter rateLimiter = new RateLimiter(5, TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1));

    public async Task<int> Add(int a, int b) 
    {
        rateLimiter.ThrowIfRateExceeded();

        //...
    }
}

The implementation of RateLimiter depends on your exact requirements, but a very simple, not-thread-safe version could look like this:

class RateLimiter
{
    private readonly int rate;
    private readonly TimeSpan perTime;

    private DateTime secondStart = DateTime.MinValue;
    private int count = 0;

    public RateLimiter(int rate, TimeSpan perTime)
    {
        this.rate = rate;
        this.perTime = perTime;
    }

    public void ThrowIfRateExceeded()
    {
        var now = DateTime.UtcNow;

        if (now - secondStart > perTime)
        {
            secondStart = now;
            count = 1;
            return;
        }

        if (count >= rate)
            throw new RateLimitExceededException();

        count++;
    }
}