SCS Undergraduate Thesis Topics

Nikhil Khadke Priya Narasimhan Transparent System-Call Based Performance Debugging for Cloud Computing

Problem Diagnosis and debugging in concurrent environments such as the cloud and popular distributed systems frameworks has been a traditionally hard problem. We explore an evaluation of a novel way of debugging distributed systems frameworks by using system calls. We focus on Google's MapReduce framework, which enables distributed, data-intensive, parallel applications by decomposing a massive job into smaller (Map and Reduce) tasks and a massive data-set into smaller partitions, such that each task processes a different partition in parallel. Performance problems in such systems can be hard to diagnose and to localize to a specific node or a set of nodes. Additionally, most debugging systems often rely on forms of instrumentation and signatures that sometimes cannot truthfully represent the state of the system (logs or application traces for example). We focus on evaluating the performance of the debugging these frameworks using the lowest level of abstraction - system calls. By focusing on a small set of system calls, we try to extrapolate meaningful information on the control flow and state of the framework, providing accurate and meaningful debugging.

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