Finding Hard-to-Reproduce Bugs with Reverse Debugging

White Paper: An explanation of the challenges presented by parallel debugging, and the value of a reverse debugging capability

The hardest step in solving software bugs in a parallel programming environment centers on working backward from a software failure to the original program error. This white paper explains the challenges presented by parallel debugging and the value of a reverse capability that enables a developer to examine not just the current state of the program, but to follow its logic backward in execution time from the point of failure. This approach achieves significant productivity gains. The paper highlights:

  • Challenges of race conditions and other difficult bugs
  • The limitations of the classical "forward-only" debuggers
  • New debugging methods based on recording of program execution to failure and stepping backward

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