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Abstract
Many of today's software systems are parallel or concurrent. With the rise of Node.js and more generally event-loop architectures, many systems need to handle concurrency. However, its non-deterministic behavior makes it hard to reproduce bugs. Today's interactive debuggers unfortunately do not support developers in debugging non-deterministic issues. They only allow us to explore a single execution path. Therefore, some bugs may never be reproduced in the debugging session, because the right conditions are not triggered. As a solution, we propose multiverse debugging, a new approach for debugging non-deterministic programs that allows developers to observe all possible execution paths of a parallel program and debug it interactively. We introduce the concepts of multiverse breakpoints and stepping, which can halt a program in different execution paths, i.e. universes. We apply multiverse debugging to AmbientTalk, an actor-based language, resulting in Voyager, a multiverse debugger implemented on top of the AmbientTalk operational semantics. We provide a proof of non-interference, i.e., we prove that observing the behavior of a program by the debugger does not affect the behavior of that program and vice versa. Multiverse debugging establishes the foundation for debugging non-deterministic programs interactively, which we believe can aid the development of parallel and concurrent systems.
Keywords
Debugging, Parallelism, Concurrency, Actors, Formal Semantics

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MLA
Torres Lopez, Carmen, et al. “Multiverse Debugging : Non-Deterministic Debugging for Non-Deterministic Programs.” 33rd European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2019), edited by Alastair F Donaldson, vol. 134, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik, 2019, pp. 27:1-27:30.
APA
Torres Lopez, C., Gurdeep Singh, R., Marr, S., Gonzalez Boix, E., & Scholliers, C. (2019). Multiverse debugging : non-deterministic debugging for non-deterministic programs. In A. F. Donaldson (Ed.), 33rd European conference on object-oriented programming (ECOOP 2019) (Vol. 134, pp. 27:1-27:30). Dagstuhl, Germany: Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik.
Chicago author-date
Torres Lopez, Carmen, Robbert Gurdeep Singh, Stefan Marr, Elisa Gonzalez Boix, and Christophe Scholliers. 2019. “Multiverse Debugging : Non-Deterministic Debugging for Non-Deterministic Programs.” In 33rd European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2019), edited by Alastair F Donaldson, 134:27:1-27:30. Dagstuhl, Germany: Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Torres Lopez, Carmen, Robbert Gurdeep Singh, Stefan Marr, Elisa Gonzalez Boix, and Christophe Scholliers. 2019. “Multiverse Debugging : Non-Deterministic Debugging for Non-Deterministic Programs.” In 33rd European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2019), ed by. Alastair F Donaldson, 134:27:1-27:30. Dagstuhl, Germany: Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik.
Vancouver
1.
Torres Lopez C, Gurdeep Singh R, Marr S, Gonzalez Boix E, Scholliers C. Multiverse debugging : non-deterministic debugging for non-deterministic programs. In: Donaldson AF, editor. 33rd European conference on object-oriented programming (ECOOP 2019). Dagstuhl, Germany: Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik; 2019. p. 27:1-27:30.
IEEE
[1]
C. Torres Lopez, R. Gurdeep Singh, S. Marr, E. Gonzalez Boix, and C. Scholliers, “Multiverse debugging : non-deterministic debugging for non-deterministic programs,” in 33rd European conference on object-oriented programming (ECOOP 2019), London, UK, 2019, vol. 134, pp. 27:1-27:30.
@inproceedings{8630632,
  abstract     = { Many of today's software systems are parallel or concurrent. With the rise of Node.js and more generally event-loop architectures, many systems need to handle concurrency. However, its non-deterministic behavior makes it hard to reproduce bugs. Today's interactive debuggers unfortunately do not support developers in debugging non-deterministic issues. They only allow us to explore a single execution path. Therefore, some bugs may never be reproduced in the debugging session, because the right conditions are not triggered. As a solution, we propose multiverse debugging, a new approach for debugging non-deterministic programs that allows developers to observe all possible execution paths of a parallel program and debug it interactively. We introduce the concepts of multiverse breakpoints and stepping, which can halt a program in different execution paths, i.e. universes. We apply multiverse debugging to AmbientTalk, an actor-based language, resulting in Voyager, a multiverse debugger implemented on top of the AmbientTalk operational semantics. We provide a proof of non-interference, i.e., we prove that observing the behavior of a program by the debugger does not affect the behavior of that program and vice versa. Multiverse debugging establishes the foundation for debugging non-deterministic programs interactively, which we believe can aid the development of parallel and concurrent systems. },
  author       = {Torres Lopez, Carmen and Gurdeep Singh, Robbert and Marr, Stefan and Gonzalez Boix, Elisa and Scholliers, Christophe},
  booktitle    = {33rd European conference on object-oriented programming (ECOOP 2019)},
  editor       = {Donaldson, Alastair F},
  isbn         = {978395977111-5},
  issn         = {1868-8969},
  keywords     = {Debugging,Parallelism,Concurrency,Actors,Formal Semantics},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {London, UK},
  pages        = {27:1--27:30},
  publisher    = {Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik},
  title        = {Multiverse debugging : non-deterministic debugging for non-deterministic programs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.ECOOP.2019.27},
  volume       = {134},
  year         = {2019},
}

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