Study: Reverse Debuggers can Decrease Debugging Time by an Average of 26%

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 25, 2013

There is no doubt that software bugs are time consuming, but can the time investment be Rogue Wavedrastically decreased? YES! Solving bugs in a parallel programming environment eats up a lot of time because conventional debugging techniques only allow users to control program execution in the forward direction, forcing developers to apply laborious and inefficient methods in their attempt to identify the problem. Introduce the concept of reverse debuggers, and debugging suddenly becomes extremely efficient. Reverse debuggers allow you to work backward from a failure, error, or crash to its root cause and step freely both forwards and backwards through execution without having to restart the program.

According to the recent study at the University of Cambridge, researchers found that when respondents use reverse debugging tools, like Rogue Wave’s ReplayEngine, their debugging time decreased by an average of 26%. Developers, like you, can leverage these time savings to develop additional products, features, and capabilities.

“This research confirms what our customers have been saying for years about the ability of TotalView to drastically reduce development time and costs during the debugging stage of software development,” stated Chris Gottbrath, Rogue Wave Principal Product Manager. “As a market leader in debugging technology, we continually advocate the time and cost-savings benefit of ReplayEngine, Rogue Wave’s reverse debugging feature as a part of TotalView. We are pleased to see robust academic research highlighting this technique as an important opportunity for the global economy.”

Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School conducted a survey which found that when respondents used advanced reverse debugging tools, they spent an average of 26% less time on debugging. Specifically, the time fixing bugs decreased from 25% to 18% and reworking code decreased from 25% to 19% while using reverse debuggers. This means, on the macro-economic level, that reverse debuggers have the potential to save 13% of total programming time, which translates to $41 billion dollars of annual savings to the economy.

As hardware architectures continue to advance from multicore towards manycore, debugging applications developed for these platforms has become exponentially more challenging, with higher levels of concurrency compounding the difficulty of finding and fixing bugs. Conventional debuggers, which allow developers to step through code looking for errors only in the forward direction, are no longer sophisticated enough. When dealing with software that has threads or processes that interact with each other or shared resources, it is common for timing and communications to become out of synch. Non-deterministic bugs, which occur from errors like race conditions and other concurrency issues, may only appear once in ten, a hundred or even more than a thousand executions. If the application runs across large grids, or is shipped to thousands of customers, that rarely occurring bug now appears much more frequently. The ability to simply rewind the application’s execution to determine the exact point of the error is invaluable.

Designed to improve developer productivity, TotalView® simplifies and shortens the process of developing, debugging, and optimizing complex code. It provides a unique combination of capabilities for pinpointing and fixing hard-to-reproduce bugs, memory leaks, and performance issues. TotalView’s reverse debugging capability records the execution history of programs and makes that history available for diagnosis. This new approach—working back from a failure, error, or crash to its root cause—eliminates the need to restart a program repeatedly with different breakpoint locations. The ability to do reverse debugging, stepping freely both forwards and backwards through program execution, drastically reduces the amount of time invested in troubleshooting code.

Read the Reverse Debugging White Paper.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than ever, the network plays a crucial role. While fast, perform Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup Read more…

By Warren Froelich

WCRP’s New Strategic Plan for Climate Research Highlights the Importance of HPC

July 19, 2018

As climate modeling increasingly leverages exascale computing and researchers warn of an impending computing gap in climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is developing its new Strategic Plan – and high-performance computing is slated to play a critical role. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Are Your Software Licenses Impeding Your Productivity?

In my previous article, Improving chip yield rates with cognitive manufacturing, I highlighted the costs associated with semiconductor manufacturing, and how cognitive methods can yield benefits in both design and manufacture.  Read more…

U.S. Exascale Computing Project Releases Software Technology Progress Report

July 19, 2018

As is often noted the race to exascale computing isn’t just about hardware. This week the U.S. Exascale Computing Project (ECP) released its latest Software Technology (ST) Capability Assessment Report detailing progress so far. Read more…

By John Russell

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of perso Read more…

By Warren Froelich

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This