Feeds

Better multithreading offered by Columbia U researchers

Reducing the bugs, improving the execution

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Since world+dog uses multithreaded software, it’s nice to know that someone cares about what goes wrong with it.

A computer science group from Columbia University says it has a solution to “data races” in multithreaded programs, a common source of bugs and crashes. Its offering, called Peregrine, is the result of work at the Columbia Engineering School led by an assistant professor of computer science called Junfeng Yang.

In a paper called Efficient deterministic multithreading through schedule relaxation, co-authored with Heming Cui, Jingyue Wu, John Gallagher and Huayang Guo, Yang argues that most of a program's execution is race-free: “races tend to occur only in minor portions of an execution”, the paper states.

“Our main in developing Peregrine is that we can make threads deterministic in an efficient and stable way,” Yang says. “This prevents the random collisions that can occur in a non-deterministic system.”

The idea looks simple enough: the first time a program runs, Peregrine records a trace of the execution, computing an efficient plan for a group of threads. It can then “reuse the plan on subsequent groups [of threads] to avoid the cost of computing a new plan for each group,” Yang said.

Reusability of its execution plans, Yang says, is important to the long-term stability of the multithreading system. If the supervisor has to create new plans for any group of threads, it becomes more likely that some of its plans will have errors and create more collisions.

Avoiding crashes has a side-benefit, since crashes often leave machines vulnerable to attackers.

The research was published at the 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, and the full paper can be found here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.