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Models and systems in motion: Verification and visual analytics for system executions

Docent lecture

Time: Thu 2018-06-21 09.00 - 10.00

Location: Room 4523, Lindstedtsvägen 5, 10044 Stockholm

Participating: Cyrille Artho, TCS/EECS/KTH

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Networked systems are difficult to verify. A single component cannot be fully tested in isolation; however, testing the whole system requires orchestrating different types of components and checking their behavior. Because each component is independent, knowledge of the system state is limited to local observations, which cannot be perfectly coordinated. We first present a scalable approach to model-based testing, which separates the semantics of a distributed system from its concurrent execution. Our work gives an easy-to-understand trace at a high level, and has found a very subtle defect in Apache ZooKeeper, a widely used cloud computing component. However, there is still a gap when trying to go from the high-level test model to the full complexity of the underlying system.

To this end, we want to adapt visual analytics to execution traces that are generated by such systems. Unlike normal visualization, visual analytics combines visualization with filtering, and uses different types of graphs to show different aspects of a system. We show a prototype that embodies work in progress for analyzing traces generated by the Java Pathfinder tool. Early results show that we can indeed get a selective overview of events, and that what you hide is more important than what you show.