In this paper we propose a dynamic analysis methodology for improving the diagnosis of erroneous Maude programs. The key idea is to combine runtime checking and dynamic trace slicing for automatically catching errors at runtime while reducing the size and complexity of the erroneous traces to be analyzed (i.e., those leading to states failing to satisfy some of the assertions). First, we formalize a technique that is aimed at automatically detecting deviations of the program behavior (symptoms) with respect to two types of user-defined assertions: functional assertions and system assertions. The proposed dynamic checking is provably sound in the sense that all errors flagged are definitely violations of the specifications. Then, upon eventual assertion violations we generate accurate trace slices that help identify the cause of the error. Our methodology is based on (i) a logical notation for specifying assertions that are imposed on execution runs; (ii) a runtime checking technique that dynamically tests the assertions; and (iii) a mechanism based on (equational) least general generalization that automatically derives accurate criteria for slicing from falsified assertions. Finally, we report on an implementation of the proposed technique in the assertion-based, dynamic analyzer ABETS and show how the forward and backward tracking of asserted program properties leads to a thorough trace analysis algorithm that can be used for program diagnosis and debugging.

Debugging Maude programs via runtime assertion checking and trace slicing

BALLIS, Demis;
2016

Abstract

In this paper we propose a dynamic analysis methodology for improving the diagnosis of erroneous Maude programs. The key idea is to combine runtime checking and dynamic trace slicing for automatically catching errors at runtime while reducing the size and complexity of the erroneous traces to be analyzed (i.e., those leading to states failing to satisfy some of the assertions). First, we formalize a technique that is aimed at automatically detecting deviations of the program behavior (symptoms) with respect to two types of user-defined assertions: functional assertions and system assertions. The proposed dynamic checking is provably sound in the sense that all errors flagged are definitely violations of the specifications. Then, upon eventual assertion violations we generate accurate trace slices that help identify the cause of the error. Our methodology is based on (i) a logical notation for specifying assertions that are imposed on execution runs; (ii) a runtime checking technique that dynamically tests the assertions; and (iii) a mechanism based on (equational) least general generalization that automatically derives accurate criteria for slicing from falsified assertions. Finally, we report on an implementation of the proposed technique in the assertion-based, dynamic analyzer ABETS and show how the forward and backward tracking of asserted program properties leads to a thorough trace analysis algorithm that can be used for program diagnosis and debugging.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1105162
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