Feeds

Better multithreading offered by Columbia U researchers

Reducing the bugs, improving the execution

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?