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Published: Apr 11, 2016 License: MIT Imports: 9 Imported by: 0



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Provides support for evaluating arbitrary artithmetic/string expressions.

Why can't you just write these expressions in code?

Sometimes, you can't know ahead-of-time what an expression will look like, or you want those expressions to be configurable. Maybe you've written a monitoring framework which is capable of gathering a bunch of metrics, then evaluating a few expressions to see if any metrics should be alerted upon. Or perhaps you've got a set of data running through your application, and you want to allow your DBA's to run some validations on it before committing it to a database, but neither of you can predict what those validations will be.

A lot of people (myself included, for a long time) wind up writing their own half-baked style of evaluation language that fits their needs, but isn't complete. Or they wind up baking their monitor logic into the actual monitor executable. These strategies may work, but they take time to implement, time for users to learn, and induce technical debt as requirements change. This library is meant to cover all the normal C-like expressions, so that you don't have to reinvent one of the oldest wheels on a computer.

How do I use it?

You create a new EvaluableExpression, then call "Evaluate" on it.

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("10 > 0");
result := expression.Evaluate(nil);

// result is now set to "true", the bool value.

Cool, but how about with parameters?

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("foo > 0");

parameters := make(map[string]interface{}, 8)
parameters["foo"] = -1;

result := expression.Evaluate(parameters);
// result is now set to "false", the bool value.

That's cool, but we can almost certainly have done all that in code. What about a complex use case that involves some math?

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("(requests_made * requests_succeeded / 100) >= 90");

parameters := make(map[string]interface{}, 8)
parameters["requests_made"] = 100;
parameters["requests_succeeded"] = 80;

result := expression.Evaluate(parameters);
// result is now set to "false", the bool value.

Or maybe you want to check the status of an alive check ("smoketest") page, which will be a string?

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("http_response_body == 'service is ok'");

parameters := make(map[string]interface{}, 8)
parameters["http_response_body"] = "service is ok";

result := expression.Evaluate(parameters);
// result is now set to "true", the bool value.

These examples have all returned boolean values, but it's equally possible to return numeric ones.

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("(mem_used / total_mem) * 100");

parameters := make(map[string]interface{}, 8)
parameters["total_mem"] = 1024;
parameters["mem_used"] = 512;

result := expression.Evaluate(parameters);
// result is now set to "50.0", the float64 value.

You can also do date parsing, though the formats are somewhat limited. Stick to RF3339, ISO8061, unix date, or ruby date formats. If you're having trouble getting a date string to parse, check the list of formats actually used: parsing.go:248.

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("'2014-01-02' > '2014-01-01 23:59:59'");
result := expression.Evaluate(nil);

// result is now set to true

Expressions are parsed once, and can be re-used multiple times. Parsing is the compute-intensive phase of the process, so if you intend to use the same expression with different parameters, just parse it once. Like so;

expression, err := govaluate.NewEvaluableExpression("response_time <= 100");
parameters := make(map[string]interface{}, 8)

for {
	parameters["response_time"] = pingSomething();
	result := expression.Evaluate(parameters)

Escaping characters

Sometimes you'll have parameters that have spaces, slashes, pluses, ampersands or some other character that this library interprets as something special. For example, the following expression will not act as one might expect:

"response-time < 100"

As written, the library will parse it as "[response] minus [time] is less than 100". In reality, "response-time" is meant to be one variable that just happens to have a dash in it.

There are two ways to work around this. First, you can escape the entire parameter name:

"[response-time] < 100"

Or you can use backslashes to escape only the minus sign.

"response\\-time < 100"

Backslashes can be used anywhere in an expression to escape the very next character. Square bracketed parameter names can be used instead of plain parameter names at any time.

What operators and types does this support?

  • Modifiers: + - / * ^ %
  • Comparators: > >= < <= == != =~ !~
  • Logical ops: || &&
  • Numeric constants, as 64-bit floating point (12345.678)
  • String constants (single quotes: 'foobar')
  • Date constants (single quotes, using any permutation of RFC3339, ISO8601, ruby date, or unix date; date parsing is automatically tried with any string constant)
  • Boolean constants: true false
  • Parenthesis to control order of evaluation ( )
  • Prefixes: ! -

Note: for those not familiar, =~ is "regex-equals" and !~ is "regex-not-equals".


Some operators don't make sense when used with some types. For instance, what does it mean to get the modulo of a string? Or to take a date to the power of two? What happens if you check to see if two numbers are logically AND'ed together?

Everyone has a different intuition about the answers to these questions. To prevent confusion, this library will refuse to operate upon types for which there is not an unambiguous meaning for the operation. The table is listed below.

Any time you attempt to use an operator on a type which doesn't explicitly support it (indicated by a bold "X" in the table below), the expression will fail to evaluate, and return an error indicating the problem.

Note that this table shows what each type supports - if you use an operator then both types need to support the operator, otherwise an error will be returned. For example, if you try to take a number to the power of a date, an error will be returned.

Number/Date String Boolean
+ Adds Concatenates X
- Subtracts X X
/ Divides X X
* Multiplies X X
^ Takes to the power of X X
% Modulo X X
Greater/Lesser (> >= < <=) Valid X X
Equality (== !=) Checks by value Checks by value Checks by value
Regex (=~ !~) X Regex X
! X X Inverts
Negate (-) Multiplies by -1 X X

It may, at first, not make sense why a Date supports all the same things as a number. In this library, dates are treated as the unix time. That is, the number of seconds since epoch. In practice this means that sub-second precision with this library is impossible (drop an issue in Github if this is a deal-breaker for you). It also, by association, means that you can do operations that you may not expect, like taking a date to the power of two. The author sees no harm in this. Your date probably appreciates it.

Complex types, arrays, and structs are not supported as literals nor parameters. All numeric constants and variables are converted to float64 for evaluation.


If you're concerned about the overhead of this library, a good range of benchmarks are built into this repo. You can run them with go test -bench=.. The library is built with an eye towards being quick, but has not been aggressively profiled and optimized. For most applications, though, it is completely fine.

For a very rough idea of performance, here are the results output from a benchmark run on my 3rd-gen Macbook Pro (Linux Mint 17.1).

BenchmarkSingleParse-12                          2000000               683 ns/op
BenchmarkSimpleParse-12                           200000              6645 ns/op
BenchmarkFullParse-12                             200000             11788 ns/op
BenchmarkEvaluationSingle-12                    20000000               114 ns/op
BenchmarkEvaluationNumericLiteral-12             3000000               572 ns/op
BenchmarkEvaluationLiteralModifiers-12           2000000               630 ns/op
BenchmarkEvaluationParameters-12                 2000000               879 ns/op
BenchmarkEvaluationParametersModifiers-12        1000000              1383 ns/op
BenchmarkComplexExpression-12                    1000000              1440 ns/op
BenchmarkRegexExpression-12                       100000             23113 ns/op


I use green masters, and heavily develop with private feature branches. Full releases are pinned and unchangeable, representing the best available version with the best documentation and test coverage. Master branch, however, should always have all tests pass and implementations considered "working", even if it's just a first pass. Master should never panic.


This project is licensed under the MIT general use license. You're free to integrate, fork, and play with this code as you feel fit without consulting the author, as long as you provide proper credit to the author in your works.


If this repository hasn't been updated in a while, it's probably because I don't have any outstanding issues to work on - it's not because I've abandoned the project. If you have questions, issues, or patches; I'm completely open to pull requests, issues opened on github, or emails from out of the blue.




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View Source
var ADDITIVE_MODIFIERS = []OperatorSymbol{

Convenience array that describes all symbols that count as "additive", which is a subset of modifiers that is evaluated last if a sequence of modifiers are used.

View Source
var COMPARATOR_SYMBOLS = map[string]OperatorSymbol{

	"==": EQ,
	"!=": NEQ,
	">":  GT,
	">=": GTE,
	"<":  LT,
	"<=": LTE,
	"=~": REQ,
	"!~": NREQ,

Map of all valid comparators, and their string equivalents. Used during parsing of expressions to determine if a symbol is, in fact, a comparator. Also used during evaluation to determine exactly which comparator is being used.

View Source
var DUMMY_PARAMETERS = map[string]interface{}{}
View Source
var EXPONENTIAL_MODIFIERS = []OperatorSymbol{

Convenience array that describes all symbols that count as "additive", which is a subset of modifiers that is evaluated first if a sequence of modifiers are used.

View Source
var LOGICAL_SYMBOLS = map[string]OperatorSymbol{

	"&&": AND,
	"||": OR,

Map of all valid logical operators, and their string equivalents. Used during parsing of expressions to determine if a symbol is, in fact, a logical operator. Also used during evaluation to determine exactly which logical operator is being used.

View Source
var MODIFIER_SYMBOLS = map[string]OperatorSymbol{

	"+": PLUS,
	"-": MINUS,
	"/": DIVIDE,
	"%": MODULUS,

Map of all valid modifiers, and their string equivalents. Used during parsing of expressions to determine if a symbol is, in fact, a modifier. Also used during evaluation to determine exactly which modifier is being used.

View Source

Convenience array that describes all symbols that count as "additive", which is a subset of modifiers that is evaluated second if a sequence of modifiers are used.

View Source
var NUMERIC_COMPARATORS = []OperatorSymbol{
View Source
var PREFIX_MODIFIERS = []OperatorSymbol{
View Source
var PREFIX_SYMBOLS = map[string]OperatorSymbol{

	"-": NEGATE,
	"!": INVERT,
View Source
var STRING_COMPARATORS = []OperatorSymbol{


func GetTokenKindString

func GetTokenKindString(kind TokenKind) string

GetTokenKindString returns a string that describes the given TokenKind. e.g., when passed the NUMERIC TokenKind, this returns the string "NUMERIC".


type EvaluableExpression

type EvaluableExpression struct {

		Represents the query format used to output dates. Typically only used when creating SQL or Mongo queries from an expression.
		Defaults to the complete ISO8601 format, including nanoseconds.
	QueryDateFormat string
	// contains filtered or unexported fields

EvaluableExpression represents a set of ExpressionTokens which, taken together, represent an arbitrary expression that can be evaluated down into a single value.

func NewEvaluableExpression

func NewEvaluableExpression(expression string) (*EvaluableExpression, error)

Creates a new EvaluableExpression from the given [expression] string. Returns an error if the given expression has invalid syntax.

func (EvaluableExpression) Evaluate

func (this EvaluableExpression) Evaluate(parameters map[string]interface{}) (interface{}, error)

Evaluate runs the entire expression using the given [parameters]. Each parameter is mapped from a string to a value, such as "foo" = 1.0. If the expression contains a reference to the variable "foo", it will be taken from parameters["foo"].

This function returns errors if the combination of expression and parameters cannot be run, such as if a string parameter is given in an expression that expects it to be a boolean. e.g., "foo == true", where foo is any string. These errors are almost exclusively returned for parameters not being present, or being of the wrong type. Structural problems with the expression (unexpected tokens, unexpected end of expression, etc) are discovered during parsing of the expression in NewEvaluableExpression.

In all non-error circumstances, this returns the single value result of the expression and parameters given. e.g., if the expression is "1 + 1", Evaluate will return 2.0. e.g., if the expression is "foo + 1" and parameters contains "foo" = 2, Evaluate will return 3.0

func (EvaluableExpression) String

func (this EvaluableExpression) String() string

Returns the original expression used to create this EvaluableExpression.

func (EvaluableExpression) ToMongoQuery added in v1.2.0

func (this EvaluableExpression) ToMongoQuery() (string, error)

Returns a string representing this expression as if it were written as a Mongo query.

func (EvaluableExpression) ToSQLQuery added in v1.2.0

func (this EvaluableExpression) ToSQLQuery() (string, error)

Returns a string representing this expression as if it were written in SQL. This function assumes that all parameters exist within the same table, and that the table essentially represents a serialized object of some sort (e.g., hibernate). If your data model is more normalized, you may need to consider iterating through each actual token given by `Tokens()` to create your query.

Boolean values are considered to be "1" for true, "0" for false.

Times are formatted according to this.QueryDateFormat.

func (EvaluableExpression) Tokens

func (this EvaluableExpression) Tokens() []ExpressionToken

Returns an array representing the ExpressionTokens that make up this expression.

type ExpressionToken

type ExpressionToken struct {
	Kind  TokenKind
	Value interface{}

Represents a single parsed token.

type OperatorSymbol

type OperatorSymbol int

Represents the valid symbols for operators.

const (
	EQ OperatorSymbol = iota




func (OperatorSymbol) IsModifierType added in v1.4.0

func (this OperatorSymbol) IsModifierType(candidate []OperatorSymbol) bool

Returns true if this operator is contained by the given array of candidate symbols. False otherwise.

type TokenKind

type TokenKind int

Represents all valid types of tokens that a token can be.

const (
	UNKNOWN TokenKind = iota




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