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Nov 11, 2014
Galois tech talk: Read-copy update (RCU) validation and verification for Linux
Galois Inc

abstract: Read-copy update (RCU) is a synchronization mechanism that is sometimes used as an alternative to reader-writer locking (among other things) that was added to the Linux kernel in 2002. A similar mechanism was added to Sequent’s DYNIX/ptx parallel UNIX kernel in 1993, and antecedents go back to at least 1980. Although a fully functional textbook implementation of RCU comprises only about 20 lines of code, the Linux-kernel implementation comprises more than 15,000 lines of code due to harsh requirements involving performance, scalability, energy efficiency, real-time response, memory footprint, module unloading, hotplugging of CPUs, and software-engineering considerations.

Therefore, a key Linux-kernel RCU challenge is validation and verification. To this end, more than 2500 lines of the current Linux-kernel implementation do torture testing. However, there are now more than one billion devices running Linux, so that an RCU bug that manifested on average once every million years of machine time would manifest about three times every day across the installed base. Furthermore, the combination of Internet of Things and Josh Triplett’s Linux Kernel Tinification project is likely to significantly increase the number of running instances.

I write and run rcutorture tests myself, and I like to think that my 20 years of parallel-code testing experience allows me to meet this validation challenge, but a simple analysis suggests a gap of several orders of magnitude. Additional validation and verification techniques are thus called for. This talk gives a brief overview of RCU and describes my adventures evaluating various verification techniques.

bio: Paul E. McKenney has been coding for almost four decades, more than half of that on parallel hardware, where his work has earned him a reputation among some as a flaming heretic. Over the past decade, Paul has been an IBM Distinguished Engineer at the IBM Linux Technology Center. Paul maintains the RCU implementation within the Linux kernel, where the variety of workloads present highly entertaining performance, scalability, real-time response, and energy-efficiency challenges. Prior to that, he worked on the DYNIX/ptx kernel at Sequent, and prior to that on packet-radio and Internet protocols (but long before it was polite to mention Internet at cocktail parties), system administration, business applications, and real-time systems. He has a BS in Computer Science and another in Mechanical Engineering along with an MS in Computer Science, all from Oregon State University. He also has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from OGI/OHSU. He has more than 100 publications and more than 50 patents. His hobbies include what passes for running at his age along with the usual house-wife-and-kids habit.

Feb 26, 2013
Startup 001: Your first experiment
NedSpace on 5th

Only 20 spots so sign up today!

Someone get the Fabreeze, because your idea STINKS!

A softer way of putting that is your idea has a hole in it somewhere. You should identify the holes in the boat before launching your transatlantic journey.

Forget your solution and run your first experiment by talking to customers and validating that they have the problem you think they have.

Learn the importance of Customer Development and why talking to customers is step one for any new idea, product, or service. After a brief intro to Lean and my personal story, we will set up your first problem/customer statement and conduct your first experiment using the Validation Board. Part of this class will be "out of the building" as we do in our Lean workshops.

We will cover the following in the this session. - Brief into to Lean and why it is valuable - Complete run-through of Validation Board (as this will be the basis of all experiments) - How to turn assumptions into experiments - Types of minimal viable products to build - What features do my customers want (setting up experiments for team) - Customer development tactics and exercises to implement - Case study of real life implementation and business model

About Adam Berk Entrepreneurial Science, Lean Startup Machine

I am the Global Director of Entrepreneurial Science at Lean Startup Machine. I have the great pleasure of travelling around the world to teach entrepreneurs about Lean methodologies. I have helped over 100 teams of entrepreneurs in Istanbul, Silicon Valley, NYC, Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal, and at The University of Florida, Microsoft, AOL, NewsInternational, etc.

Standing on the shoulders of giants like Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Patrick Vlaskovits and others, we have distilled the Lean methodology into actionable, sequential steps. I really enjoy teaching early stage companies how to identify their riskiest assumptions and test them using our own proprietary tool, the Validation Board. I wish I could have taken this class when I built my first startup, and I used the methods I teach in my current app for wedding photos - where I validated the solution and had paying customers before I wrote a line of code.