CoMET: Compressing Microcontroller Execution Traces to Assist System Understanding

Azzeddine Amiar 1 Mickaël Delahaye 2 Ylìès Falcone 3 Lydie Du Bousquet 2
2 LIG Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble - VASCO
LIG - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble
3 CORSE - Compiler Optimization and Run-time Systems
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LIG - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble
Abstract : Recent technology advances have made possible the retrieval of execution traces on microcontrollers. However, even after a short execution time of the embedded program, the collected execution trace contains a huge amount of data. This is due to the cyclic nature of embedded programs. The huge amount of data makes extremely difficult and time-consuming the understanding of the program behavior. Software engineers need a way to get a quick understanding of execution traces. In this paper, we present an approach based on an improvement of the Sequitur algorithm to compress large execution traces of microcontrollers. By leveraging both cycles and repetitions present in such execution traces, our approach offers a compact and accurate compression of execution traces. This compression may be used by software engineers to understand the behavior of the system, for instance, identifying cycles that appears most often in the trace or comparing different cycles. Our evaluations give two major results. On one hand our approach gives high compression rate on microcontroller execution traces. On the other hand software engineers mostly agree that generated outputs (compressions) may help reviewing and understanding execution traces.
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Azzeddine Amiar, Mickaël Delahaye, Ylìès Falcone, Lydie Du Bousquet. CoMET: Compressing Microcontroller Execution Traces to Assist System Understanding . [Research Report] RR-LIG-031, LIG. 2012. ⟨hal-01472082⟩



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