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Multiverse Debugging: Non-deterministic Debugging for Non-deterministic Programs

Torres Lopez, Carmen, Gurdeep Singh, Robbert, Marr, Stefan, Gonzalez Boix, Elisa, Scholliers, Christophe (2019) Multiverse Debugging: Non-deterministic Debugging for Non-deterministic Programs. In: 33rd European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, 15-19 July 2019, London, UK. (doi:10.4230/LIPIcs.ECOOP.2019.27) (KAR id:74328)

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Abstract

Many of today's software systems are parallel or concurrent. With the rise of Node.js and more generally event-loop architectures, many systems need to handle concurrency. However, its non-deterministic behavior makes it hard to reproduce bugs. Today's interactive debuggers unfortunately do not support developers in debugging non-deterministic issues. They only allow us to explore a single execution path. Therefore, some bugs may never be reproduced in the debugging session, because the right conditions are not triggered. As a solution, we propose multiverse debugging, a new approach for debugging non-deterministic programs that allows developers to observe all possible execution paths of a parallel program and debug it interactively. We introduce the concepts of multiverse breakpoints and stepping, which can halt a program in different execution paths, i.e. universes. We apply multiverse debugging to AmbientTalk, an actor-based language, resulting in Voyager, a multiverse debugger implemented on top of the AmbientTalk operational semantics. We provide a proof of non-interference, i.e., we prove that observing the behavior of a program by the debugger does not affect the behavior of that program and vice versa. Multiverse debugging establishes the foundation for debugging non-deterministic programs interactively, which we believe can aid the development of parallel and concurrent systems.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.4230/LIPIcs.ECOOP.2019.27
Uncontrolled keywords: Debugging, Parallelism, Concurrency, Actors, Formal Semantics
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Stefan Marr
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2019 21:26 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 11:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/74328 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Torres Lopez, Carmen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3125-0921
Gurdeep Singh, Robbert: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4394-0011
Marr, Stefan: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9059-5180
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