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RunAssert: A non-intrusive run-time assertion for parallel programs debugging

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4 Author(s)
Chi-Neng Wen ; Comput. Sci. & Inf. Eng., Nat. Chung Cheng Univ., Chiayi, Taiwan ; Shu-Hsuan Chou ; Tien-Fu Chen ; Tay-Jyi Lin

Multicore environments are rapidly emerging and are widely used in SoC, but accompanying parallelism programming and debugging impact the ordinary sequential world. Unfortunately, according to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the instrument trying to probe the target will cause probe effects. Therefore, current intrusive debugging methodologies for sequential programs cannot be used directly in parallel programs in a multicore environment. This work developed a non-intrusive run-time assertion (RunAssert) for parallel program development based on a novel non-uniform debugging architecture. Our approaches are as follows: (a) a current language extension for parallel program debugging (b) corresponding non-intrusive hardware configuration logic and checking methodologies and (c) several reality cases using the extensions mentioned above. In general, the target program can be executed at its original speed without altering the parallel sequences, thereby eliminating the possibility of probe effect. The net hardware cost is relatively low, the reconfigurable logic for RunAssert is 0.6%-2.5% in a NUDA cluster with 8 cores, such that RunAssert can readily scale up for increasingly complex multicore systems.

Published in:

Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2010

Date of Conference:

8-12 March 2010

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