By Topic

HeapMon: A helper-thread approach to programmable, automatic, and low-overhead memory bug detection

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $31
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

4 Author(s)
Shetty, R. ; Network Appliance, Inc., 495 East Java Drive, Sunnyvale, California 94089, USA ; Kharbutli, M. ; Solihin, Y. ; Prvulovic, M.

The ability to detect and pinpoint memory-related bugs in production runs is important because in-house testing may miss bugs. This paper presents HeapMon, a heap memory bug-detection scheme that has a very low performance overhead, is automatic, and is easy to deploy. HeapMon relies on two new techniques. First, it decouples application execution from bug monitoring, which executes as a helper thread on a separate core in a chip multiprocessor system. Second, it associates a filter bit with each cached word to safely and significantly reduce bug checking frequency—by 95% on average. We test the effectiveness of these techniques using existing and injected memory bugs in SPEC®2000 applications and show that HeapMon effectively detects and identifies most forms of heap memory bugs. Our results also indicate that the HeapMon performance overhead is only 5%, on average—orders of magnitude less than existing tools. Its overhead is also modest: 3.1% of the cache size and a 32-KB victim cache for on-chip filter bits and 6.2% of the allocated heap memory size for state bits, which are maintained by the helper thread as a software data structure.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 2.3 )