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Published: Oct 30, 2020 License: BSD-2-Clause Imports: 16 Imported by: 0




GoDist-Scheduler is a global scheduler for model checking distributed systems. The GoDist-Scheduler communicates to insturmented version of the Golang runtime via shared memory. The insturmented runtime can be found here.

Getting Started

To install GoDist-Scheduler you must have a working installation of Go. Second GoDist (insturmented go runtime) must be installed to /usr/bin/dgo in future releases this location with be configurable.

Environment Variables

Go packaging relies heavily on the GOPATH environment variable. Make sure that the GOPATH environment variable is set before moving on. You can check if GOPATH is set by executing the following command:

    > echo $GOPATH # Output should be the path to which GOPATH is set

The bin folder of the GOPATH folder must also be a part of the PATH variable. You can append it to the PATH variable as follows:

    > export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin

Ensure that the modified go runtime (dgo) is setup correctly

    > which dgo  # Output should be /usr/bin/dgo

Make sure that the binary GoDist-Scheduler is in your $PATH. You can find out by running:

which GoDist-Scheduler

If you cannot find it, link $GOPATH/bin/GoPath-Scheduler to a directory in your $PATH. If GoPath-Scheduler is not in $GOPATH/bin run go install and the executable should be on that file.

You will also need to have dinv cloned. You can get the code here and make sure to put it in $GOPATH/src/bitbucket.org/bestchai/dinv.

Running Dara

Configuration File

Running the concrete model checker requires the use of a configuration file.

NOTE: This is not the final version of the configuration file as it will be modified to support complicated distributed systems that have their own specific build and run scripts as well as include configurable options for exploration strategies and depth.

        "exec" : {
            "path" : "/path/to/examples/SimpleFileRead/file_read.go",
            "size" : "400M",
            "processes" : 1,
            "sched" : "file_read.json",
            "loglevel" : "INFO",
            "property_file" : "/path/to/property/file.prop"
            "build" : {
                "build_path" : "../examples/ServerClient/build.sh",
                "run_path" : "run.sh"
        "instr" : {
            "dir" : "",
            "file" : "../examples/SimpleInstrument/file_read.go"
            "out_dir" : "",
            "out_file" : "../examples/SimpleInstrument/file_read_instrumented.go",
            "blocks_file" : "../examples/SimpleInstrument/blocks"

The exec block in the configuration file refers to the execution options of the system. The details of every field for all the execution options is presented as follows:

  • path : The full path to the file which contains the main function the system
  • size : The size of the shared memory to be used by the global-scheduler and the local go runtimes.
  • processes : The number of processes that need to be launched that will execute the main function
  • sched : The name of the schedule file that will be used to write to/read from for doing record/replay or exploration.
  • loglevel : The level of the logging that needs to be printed out to console. Supported levels are : DEBUG, INFO, WARN, FATAL
  • property_file : The path to the property file that contains the properties!
  • build: This is to allow for complicated build and run scripts.
  • build_path: Path to build script
  • run_path: Path to run script

The instr block in the configuration file refers to the instrumentation options of the system. Currently either a single file can be instrumented or the whole directory can be instrumented. The details of each field are as follows:

  • dir : The full path to the directory to be instrumented
  • file : The full path to the file to be instrumented
  • out_dir : The full path to the output directory where the instrumented source code will be written. If not provided then all go files in the directory are modified.
  • out_file : The full path the output file where the instrumend file will be written. If not provided then the input file will be modified.
  • blocks_file: The full path to the filename where list of all blockIDs will be written. This is a required argument. This file is used by cov_report auxiliary tool to generate a coverage report.
Property File

A property file should only have function definitions and comment for the function. The definition corresponds to the property to be checked. The comment provides the meta information: Property name and full qualified path of each variable in the source package. The full qualified path is used for data collection

Caveat: The variables used in the property must start with an uppercase letter

Example of a property:

func equality(A int, B int) {
    return A == B

For a more concrete example, please look at this example.

Reporting Variable Values

Notice that for properties to be checked, Dara needs to know information about values of the variables needed by the property. This requires the user to appropriately instrument the code to report values of the variables. The function call used to report values of variables for the property above is as follows:

runtime.DaraLog("LogID", "main.a, main.b", a, b)

Here the first argument is a LogID that is used to identify the unique location where this function call is made from. The second argument is a string containing the names of the variables whose values are being reported as part of the function call. The names of the variables are joined using a comma. The values of the variables follow as the final arguments. As you might have guessed, runtime.DaraLog accepts variadic number of arguments to allow for any number of varibles to be reported.

NOTE: The names of the variables do have to match the names of the variables used in property file but they don't need to match the actual variable names in the source code. We recommend the use of fully qualified variable names to avoid any potential naming conflicts.

Reporting Values for Channels

Channels are specific to Go and developers might want to write properties that check the state of the channel. To support such properties, Dara provides two functions through the runtime package which report the number of sends and number of deliveries that have occurred on that channel.

  • runtime.NumSendings(chan interface{}) int: Returns the number of sends that has happened on channel chan
  • runtime.NumDeliveries(chan interface{}) int: Returns the number of deliveries that has happened on channel chan

To record a schedule, use the overlord program provided as part of the GoDist-Scheduler. The steps for recording the schedule using the overlord is as follows:

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/overlord
    > go run overlord.go -mode=record -optFile=system_config.json

To replay a schedule, use the overlord program provided as part of the GoDist-Scheduler. The steps for replaying the schedule using the overlord is as follows:

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/overlord
    > go run overlord.go -mode=replay -optFile=system_config.json
Explorer (experimental)

To explore different interleavings for a system, use the overlord program provided as part of the GoDist-Scheduler. The steps for exploration using the overlord is as follows:

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/overlord
    > go run overlord.go -mode=explore -optFile=system_config.json

To instrument a system so that it reports coverage information, use the overlord program as follows:

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/overlord
    > go run overlord.go -mode=instrument -optFile=system_config.json

Auxiliary Tools

Understanding the bug traces can be hard. Thus, to aid in the understanding of the debug traces, we make use of existing tools like ShiViz and provide some of our own tools.

Schedule Info Tool

The Schedule Info tool prints out meta information about a schedule. Currently, it prints out the number of events in the schedule as well as breakdown of events by the type of the event.

To run the info tool, execute the following steps

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/tools
    > dgo run schedule_info.go <schedule_filename>

Sample output from running the schedule info is shown below


ShiViz Converter Tool

The ShiViz converter tool converts a recorded or replayed schedule into a ShiViz-compatible look which can be used to visualize the bug trace using the online Shiviz tool.

To run the converter tool, execute the following steps

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/tools
    > dgo run shiviz_converter.go <schedule_filename> <shiviz_filename>

A snapshot of the ShiViz visualization of the generated log from the recorded schedule is shown below:


Coverage Report Tool

The Coverage Report tool produces a coverage report indicating which blocks in the source code were covered and which blocks were not uncovered.

To run the report tool, execute the following steps

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/tools
    > dgo run cov_report.go <schedule_filename> <blocks_filename>

Sample output is as follows:

Total # of blocks in source code: 6
Total # of blocks covered: 3
Total # of blocks uncovered: 3
Covered Block    Frequency
../examples/SimpleInstrument/file_read.go:10:12          1
../examples/SimpleInstrument/file_read.go:12:14          1
../examples/SimpleInstrument/file_read.go:24:26          1
Uncovered Blocks:
Variable Info Tool

Specifying properties requies using the full name scope name of a variable. We wrote a tool that helps you extract all the user-defined variables in your code.

    > cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/DARA-Project/GoDist-Scheduler/tools
    > go run variable_info.go <path/to/binary> 


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