Combining hardware and software instrumentation to classify program executions
Yılmaz, Cemal and Porter, Adam (2010) Combining hardware and software instrumentation to classify program executions. In: International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE), (Accepted/In Press)
Several research efforts have studied ways to infer properties of software systems from program spectra gathered from the running systems, usually with software-level instrumentation. While these efforts appear to produce accurate classifications, detailed understanding of their costs and potential cost-benefit tradeoffs is lacking. In this work we present a hybrid instrumentation approach which uses hardware performance counters to gather program spectra at very low cost. This underlying data is further augmented with data captured by minimal amounts of software-level instrumentation. We also evaluate this hybrid approach by comparing it to other existing approaches. We conclude that these hybrid spectra can reliably distinguish failed executions from successful executions at a fraction of the runtime overhead cost of using software-based execution data.
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