LCS Publication Details
Publication Title: Efficient Specification-Assisted Error Localization and Correction
Publication Author: Demsky, Brian
Additional Authors: Cristian Cadar, Daniel Roy, Martin Rinard
LCS Document Number: MIT-LCS-TR-927
Publication Date: 11-13-2003
LCS Group: Computer Architecture
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We present a new error localization tool, Archie, that accepts a specification of key data structure consistency constraints, then generates an algorithm that checks if the data structures satisfy the constraints. We also present a set of specification analyses and optimizations that (for our benchmark software system) improve the performance of the generated checking algorithm by over a factor of 3,900 as compared with the initial interpreted implementation, enabling Archie to efficiently support interactive debugging. We evaluate Archie’s effectiveness by observing the actions of two developer populations (one using Archie, the other using standard error localization techniques) as they attempted to localize and correct three errors in a benchmark software system. With Archie, the developers were able to localize each error in less than 10 minutes and correct each error in (usually much) less than 20 minutes. Without Archie, the developers were, with one exception, unable to locate each error after more than an hour of effort. These results illustrate Archie’s potential to substantially improve current error localization and correction techniques.
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