Conference paper

Log-based architectures for general-purpose monitoring of deployed code

Runtime monitoring tools are invaluable for detecting various types of bugs, in both sequential and multi-threaded programs. However, these tools often slow down the monitored program by an order of magnitude or more [4], implying that the tools are ill-suited for always-on monitoring of deployed code. Fortunately, the emergence of chip multiprocessors as a dominant computing platform means that resources are available on-chip to assist in monitoring tasks. In this brief note, we advocate Log-Based Architectures (LBA) that exploit such on-chip resources in order to dramatically reduce the overhead of runtime program monitoring. Specifically, we propose adding hardware support for logging a main program's trace and delivering it to another (otherwise idle) processing core for inspection. A life-guard program running on this other core executes the desired monitoring task.

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