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Galois Tech Talk (2 of 3 next week!): Model-based Code Generation and Debugging of Concurrent Programs

Galois, Inc
421 SW 6th Ave. Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204, US (map)



Presented by Borzoo Bonakdarpour.

Design and implementation of distributed systems often involve many subtleties due to their complex structure, non-determinism, and low atomicity as well as occurrence of unanticipated physical events such as faults. Thus, constructing correct distributed systems has always been a challenge and often subject to serious errors. We propose a method for generating distributed implementations from high-level component-based models that only employ simple synchronization primitives. The method is a sequence of three transformations preserving observational equivalence: (1) A transformation from a global state to a partial state model, (2) a transformation which replaces multi-party strong synchronization primitives in atomic components by point-to-point send/receive primitives based on asynchronous message passing, and (3) a final transformation to concrete distributed implementation based on platform and architecture. We study the properties of different transformations, in particular, performance criteria such as degree of parallelism and overhead for coordination.

The second part of the talk will focus on an automated technique for optimal instrumentation of multi-threaded programs for debugging and testing of concurrent data structures. We define a notion of observability that enables debuggers to trace back and locate errors through data-flow instrumentation. Observability in a concurrent program enables a debugger to extract the value of a set of desired variables through instrumenting another (possibly smaller) set of variables. We formulate an optimization problem that aims at minimizing the size of the latter set. Our experimental results on popular concurrent data structures (e.g., linked lists and red-black trees) show significant performance improvement in optimally-instrumented programs using our method as compared to ad-hoc over-instrumented programs.