Skip to main content

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)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (2MB) Preview
Official URL


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: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Torres Lopez, Carmen:
Gurdeep Singh, Robbert:
Marr, Stefan:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year