Software

Asynchronous Assertions

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Executive Summary

Assertions are a familiar and widely used bug detection technique. Traditional assertion checking, however, is performed synchronously, imposing its full cost on the run-time of the program. As a result, many useful kinds of checks, such as data structure invariants and heap analyses, are impractical because they lead to extreme slowdowns. The authors present a solution that decouples assertion evaluation from program execution: assertions are checked asynchronously by separate checking threads while the program continues to execute. Their technique guarantees that asynchronous evaluation always produces the same result as synchronous evaluation, even if the program concurrently modifies the program state.

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