Guided Testing of Concurrent Programs Using Value Schedules
Testing concurrent programs remains a difficult task due to the non-deterministic nature of concurrent execution. Many approaches have been proposed to tackle the complexity of uncovering potential concurrency bugs. Static analysis tackles the problem by analyzing a concurrent program looking for situations/patterns that might lead to possible errors during execution. In general, static analysis cannot precisely locate all possible concurrent errors. Dynamic testing examines and controls a program during its execution also looking for situations/patterns that might lead to possible errors during execution. In general, dynamic testing needs to examine all possible execution paths to detect all errors, which is intractable. Motivated by these observation, a new testing technique is developed that uses a collaboration between static analysis and dynamic testing to find the first potential error but using less time and space. In the new collaboration scheme, static analysis and dynamic testing interact iteratively throughout the testing process. Static analysis provides coarse-grained flow-information to guide the dynamic testing through the relevant search space, while dynamic testing collects concrete runtime-information during the guided exploration. The concrete runtime-information provides feedback to the static analysis to refine its analysis, which is then feed forward to provide more precise guidance of the dynamic testing. The new collaborative technique is able to uncover the first concurrency-related bug in a program faster using less storage than the state-of-the-art dynamic testing-tool Java PathFinder. The implementation of the collaborative technique consists of a static-analysis module based on Soot and a dynamic-analysis module based on Java PathFinder.