You are required to read and agree to the below before accessing a full-text version of an article in the IDE article repository.

The full-text document you are about to access is subject to national and international copyright laws. In most cases (but not necessarily all) the consequence is that personal use is allowed given that the copyright owner is duly acknowledged and respected. All other use (typically) require an explicit permission (often in writing) by the copyright owner.

For the reports in this repository we specifically note that

  • the use of articles under IEEE copyright is governed by the IEEE copyright policy (available at
  • the use of articles under ACM copyright is governed by the ACM copyright policy (available at
  • technical reports and other articles issued by M‰lardalen University is free for personal use. For other use, the explicit consent of the authors is required
  • in other cases, please contact the copyright owner for detailed information

By accepting I agree to acknowledge and respect the rights of the copyright owner of the document I am about to access.

If you are in doubt, feel free to contact

Experimental Evaluation of Callback Behavior in ROS 2 Executors


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


28th International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation


Robot operating system 2 (ROS 2) is increasingly popular both in research and commercial robotic systems. ROS 2 is designed to allow real-time execution and data communication, enabling rapid prototyping and deployment of robotic systems. In order to predict and calculate execution times in ROS 2, one needs to analyze its internal scheduler, called executor. The executor has been updated in various distributions of ROS 2, which is shown to impact significantly the periodic execution invoked by the underlying operating system's timers, potentially causing unexpected latencies. To expose the mentioned impact due to executor differences, in this paper, we present an experimental evaluation of the execution behavior of ROS 2's schedulable entities, namely callbacks, among the existing versions of the executor. We visualize the differences of callback execution order via simulation, and we create design-level scenarios that impact the execution of periodically scheduled callbacks, negatively. Moreover, we show how such negative impact can be mitigated by using multi-threaded executors. Finally, we illustrate the observed behavior on a real-world centralized multi-agent robot system. Our work aims to raise awareness within the ROS 2 developer community, regarding possible problems of timer blocking, and propose a mitigation solution of the latter.


author = {Lukas Dust and Emil Persson and Mikael Ekstr{\"o}m and Saad Mubeen and Cristina Seceleanu and Rong Gu},
title = {Experimental Evaluation of Callback Behavior in ROS 2 Executors},
month = {September},
year = {2023},
booktitle = {28th International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation},
url = {}