Using discrete-event simulation to address the probe effect in software testing of real-time distributed systems
Ollerton, Robert Milton.
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The term probe effect denotes behavioral changes caused by introducing delays into a concurrent program with synchronization errors. This thesis investigates the feasibility of developing discrete-event simulation (DES) models of software architectures to perform software testing free of the probe effect. A message-passing subsystem (MPS) and simulated MPS (SMPS) were developed in Java that runs with the same application code. An MPS platform- performance model (MPPM) was developed using dual-loop benchmarking and was integrated into the SMPS. Two demonstration programs were developed to study SMPS timing and its model of a preemptive multi-threaded run-time system. The SMPS-based program behavior was compared to hypothetical execution on a platform with a perfect system clock and no execution overhead. The differences between hypothetical and observed SMPS-based execution were found to correctly reflect the MPPM. The results indicated that it is feasible to develop DES implementations of some software architectures to perform software testing.
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