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Replay Debugging of Complex Real-Time Systems: Experiences from Two Industrial Case Studies


Publication Type:

Report - MRTC




Deterministic replay is a method for allowing complex multi-tasking real-time systems to be debugged using standard interactive debuggers. Even though several replay techniques have been proposed for parallel, multi-tasking and real-time systems, the solutions have so far lingered on a prototype academic level, with very little results to show from actual state-of-the-practice commercial applications. This paper describes a major deterministic replay case study performed on a full-scale industrial robot control system, as well as a minor replay instrumentation case study performed on a military aircraft radar system. In this article, we will show that replay debugging is feasible in complex multi-million lines of code software projects running on top of off-the-shelf real-time operating systems. Furthermore, we will discuss how replay debugging can be introduced in existing systems without unfeasible analysis efforts. In addition, we will present benchmarking results from both studies, indicating that the instrumentation overhead is acceptable and affordable.


author = {Daniel Sundmark and Henrik Thane and Joel Huselius and Anders Pettersson},
title = {Replay Debugging of Complex Real-Time Systems: Experiences from Two Industrial Case Studies},
number = {ISSN 1404-3041 ISRN MDH-MRTC-96/2003-1-SE},
month = {April},
year = {2003},
url = {}