A Dynamic Data Race Detector for Multithreaded Programs

Eraser: A Dynamic Data Race Detector for Multithreaded Programs, by Stefan Savage, Michael Burrows, Greg Nelson, Patrick Sobalvarro, and Thomas Anderson, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, Vol. 15, No. 4, November 1997, pp. 391-411.

According to the paper, Erase: A dynamic Race Detector for Multithread Program, the authors claim that dynamic data race is hard to detection, so programmers are suffered when programming by using thread. There are already work that solving about the data race problem from Lamport’s happen relation, however, it costly so they would like to introduce a new method. These are the main motivations of the author regarding to the paper.

The authors contribute by introducing a dynamic race detection tool which is called “Eraser” this tool will monitor the program when it reads and writes when it executes, they state that the tool is more effective and un-sensitive than manual debugging. Another important of the main contributes of this paper is a Lockset algorithm, which will use to detect the data race in multithread programs.

Moreover, about the Eraser detection program, the program can detect race condition in Operating Kernel. For their experiment, the authors test Eraser on the real programs and applications. the HTTP server and indexing engine from AltaVista, the Vesta cache server, the Petal distributed disk system and various programs from programming assignment from students. However, the author is not concerned about its performance due to the high overhead. However, but the authors believe that it is fast enough to debug most of the programs and focus on the false alarms of the program when it found the data race.

The most efficiency of this paper is that the program Eraser cannot prove that the test program is race data free. Also, checking for dynamic data race is impractical. The experiment methods should cover most of the operating systems that we use these days and various of programming language should be tested instead of having only C++ programming language. Moreover, the use of the Eraser program should be describe for the audience, so they can know how the program works out for each test programs. The graph and performance should be provide instead of describing what happen for the program they run on.I would rate the significant of this paper 4/5(modest) due to the challenge topic and idea.

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