Computer Science Thesis Proposal

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 12:00pm


ASA Conference Room 6115 Gates Hillman Centers



Concurrent programming presents a challenge to students and experts alike because of the complexity of multithreaded interactions and the difficulty to reproduce and reason about bugs. Stateless model checking is a concurrency testing approach which forces a program to interleave its threads in many different ways, checking for bugs each time. This technique is powerful, in principle capable of finding any nondeterministic bug in finite time, but suffers from exponential explosion as program size increases. Checking an exponential number of thread interleavings is not a practical or predictable approach for programmers to find concurrency bugs before their project deadlines. In this thesis, I propose to make stateless model checking more practical for human use by way of several new techniques. I have built Landslide, a stateless model checker specializing in student projects for undergraduate operating systems classes. Landslide includes a novel algorithm for automatically managing multiple state spaces according to their estimated completion times, which I will show quickly finds bugs should they exist and also quickly verifies correctness otherwise. I will evaluate Landslide's suitability for inexpert use by presenting the results of many semesters providing it to students in 15-410, CMU's Operating System Design and Implementation class. Finally, I will explore broader impact by extending Landslide to test some real-world programs and to be used by students at other universities. Thesis Committee: Garth Gibson (Chair) David Eckhardt Brandon Lucia Haryadi Gunawi (University of Chicago) Copy of Thesis Summary 

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Thesis Proposal