Discussions about Software at UMCP

September 21, 2005

Alex Aiken, Stanford University, Cooperative Bug Isolation

It is standard engineering practice to monitor and measure the structures we build as they are being used, but software is an exception. Most software, once deployed to a user, is not monitored at all or is monitored only according to an engineer's best guess about what may be important to observe. As a result, we believe a great deal of useful information about the behavior of a program, information that is computed for free by the program's user community, is simply lost.

This talk presents techniques for the systematic monitoring of thousands to millions of distributed program executions. We discuss how to exploit this information in a particular application: Using partial information gathered from many program executions to automatically isolate the causes of bugs.

Bio: Alex Aiken received his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Music from Bowling Green State University in 1983 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1988. Alex was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center (1988-1993) and a Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley (1993-2003) before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003.

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