Wandering the Professional Developer Conference (PDC) show floor today, I ran across the Microsoft Research section, and spoke with Maden Musuvathi, a researcher in the Software Reliability Research group at Microsoft Research working on testing solutions for concurrent code. He was demoing a prototype product called Microsoft Cuzz -- shorthand for Concurrent Fuzz testing.
Of course, fuzz testing is used to smoke out flaws in code by blasting random or otherwise unexpected data input at application interfaces, with the goal of kicking off program failures that might otherwise go undetected. Cuzz does something similar, shaping thread interaction in concurrent C or C++ Win32 code to create conditions likely to produce hard to reproduce failures.
As Musuvathi explains. Cuzz determines the mathematical probability that a concurrent code failure will occur by observing the number of threads and the number of synchronizations. Other issues, such as locks, mutexes and complex synchronizations don't impact the calculated probability, Musuvathi said. Developers inject the Cuzz DLL into the binary executable and then run the test. Cuzz tracks each thread it activates, logging the thread activations that result in a crash.
Posted by Michael Desmond on 11/18/2009 at 1:15 PM
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