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Proceedings Paper

Temporal debugging and profiling of multimedia applications
Author(s): Lars Albertsson
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Paper Abstract

We present a temporal debugger, capable of examining time flow of applications in general-purpose computer systems. The debugger is attached to a complete system simulator, which models an entire workstation in sufficient detail to run commodity operating systems and workloads. Unlike traditional debuggers, a debugger operating on a simulated system does not disturb the timing of the target program, allowing reproducible experiments and large amounts of instrumentation and monitoring without intrusion. We have implemented the temporal debugger by modifying the GNU debugger to operate on applications in a simulated Linux system. Debugger implementation is difficult because the debugger expects application-related data, whereas the simulator provides low-level data. We introduce a technique, virtual machine translation, for mapping simulator data to the debugger by parsing operating system data structures in the simulated system. The debugger environment allows collection of performance statistics from multiple abstraction levels: hardware, operating system, and application level. We show how this data can be used to profile quality of service performance of a video decoder. The debugger is used to detect display jitter, and by correlating runtime statistics to image rendering time, we expose deviations when the application is unable to render an image in time, thereby locating the cause of the display jitter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 December 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4673, Multimedia Computing and Networking 2002, (10 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.449980
Show Author Affiliations
Lars Albertsson, Swedish Institute of Computer Science (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4673:
Multimedia Computing and Networking 2002
Martin G. Kienzle; Prashant J. Shenoy, Editor(s)

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