Sampling-based Program Execution Monitoring

Title Sampling-based Program Execution Monitoring

For its high overall cost during product development, program debugging is an important aspect of system development. Debugging is a hard and complex activity, especially in time-sensitive systems which have limited resources and demanding timing constraints. System tracing is a frequently used technique for debugging embedded systems. A specific use of system tracing is to monitor and debug control-flow problems in programs. However, it is difficult to implement because of the potentially high overhead it might introduce to the system and the changes which can occur to the system behaviour due to tracing. To solve the above problems, in this work, we present a sampling-based approach to execution monitoring which specifically helps developers debug time-sensitive systems such as real-time applications. We build the system model and propose three theorems to determine the sampling period in different scenarios. We also design seven heuristics and an instrumentation framework to extend the sampling period which can reduce the monitoring overhead and achieve an optimal tradeoff between accuracy and overhead introduced by instrumentation. Using this monitoring framework, we can use the information extracted through sampling to reconstruct the system state and execution paths to locate the deviation.

Year of Publication
Conference Name
Proc. of the ACM SIGPLAN/SIGBED Conference on Languages, Compilers, and Tools for Embedded Systems (LCTES)
Date Published
Conference Location
Stockholm, Sweden
ISBN Number
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