Shedding Light on Distributed System Executions
by Jenny Abrahamson, Ivan Beschastnikh, Yuriy Brun, Michael D. Ernst
Abstract:
In a distributed system, the hosts execute concurrently, generating asynchronous logs that are challenging to comprehend. We present two tools: ShiVector to transparently add vector timestamps to distributed system logs, and ShiViz to help developers understand distributed system logs by visualizing them as space-time diagrams. ShiVector is the first tool to offer automated vector timestamp instrumentation without modifying source code. The vector-time-stamped logs capture partial ordering information, useful for analysis and comprehension. ShiViz space-time diagrams are simple to understand and interactive --- the user can explore the log through the visualization to understand complex system behavior. We applied ShiVector and ShiViz to two systems and found that they aid developers in understanding and debugging.
Citation:
Jenny Abrahamson, Ivan Beschastnikh, Yuriy Brun, and Michael D. Ernst, Shedding Light on Distributed System Executions, in Proceedings of the Poster Track at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), 2014, pp. 598–599.
Bibtex:
@inproceedings{Abrahamson14icse-poster,
  author = {Jenny Abrahamson and Ivan Beschastnikh and Yuriy Brun and Michael D. Ernst},
  title =
  {\href{http://people.cs.umass.edu/brun/pubs/pubs/Abrahamson14icse-poster.pdf}{Shedding
  Light on Distributed System Executions}},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Poster Track at the International
  Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)},
  venue = {ICSE Poster},
  address = {Hyderabad, India},
  month = {June},
  date = {4--6},
  year = {2014},
  pages = {598--599},
  accept = {$\frac{19}{52} \approx 37\%$},

  doi = {10.1145/2591062.2591134},  
  note = {\href{http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2591062.2591134}{DOI: 10.1145/2591062.2591134}},

  abstract = {In a distributed system, the hosts execute concurrently,
  generating asynchronous logs that are challenging to comprehend. We
  present two tools: ShiVector to transparently add vector timestamps
  to distributed system logs, and ShiViz to help developers understand
  distributed system logs by visualizing them as space-time diagrams.
  ShiVector is the first tool to offer automated vector timestamp
  instrumentation without modifying source code. The
  vector-time-stamped logs capture partial ordering information,
  useful for analysis and comprehension. ShiViz space-time diagrams
  are simple to understand and interactive --- the user can explore
  the log through the visualization to understand complex system
  behavior. We applied ShiVector and ShiViz to two systems and found
  that they aid developers in understanding and debugging.},
}