Hardware

T-Check: Bug Finding for Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

Sensor nodes are resource poor and failure-prone. Sensor networks are composed of many such nodes that are often hard to physically reach and that are connected by unreliable wireless links. Together, these factors make sensor network debugging into a challenging activity, and in fact it is not uncommon for a deployed sensornet to encounter sporadic faults that are effectively impossible to locate, reproduce, and fix. The authors developed T-Check, a tool that uses random walks and explicit state model checking to find safety and liveness errors in sensor network applications running on TinyOS. By building upon TOSSIM an event-driven simulator that papers away interrupt-driven concurrency and other low-level hardware interaction T-Check loses the ability to detect certain low-level errors, but gains enough scalability to detect distributed errors such as a collection tree protocol's failure to properly repair when a node dies.

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