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2002 FREENIX Track Technical Program - Abstract

Inferring Scheduling Behavior with Hourglass

John Regehr, School of Computing, University of Utah


Although computer programs explicitly represent data values, time values are usually implicit. This makes it difficult to analyze and debug real-time programs whose correctness depends partially on the time at which results are computed. This paper shows how to use Hourglass, an instrumented, synthetic real-time application, to make inferences about what is happening on a computer at millisecond and microsecond granularities. These inferences are possible because Hourglass records a very fine-grained map of when each of its threads runs, and because Hourglass supports a variety of thread execution models that model the properties and requirements of non-synthetic real-time applications. We conclude that between measurements and inferences, surprisingly detailed knowledge about scheduling behavior can be obtained without modifying, or even explicitly interacting with, the operating system kernel.
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Last changed: 16 May 2002 ml
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