Static analysis and compiler design for idempotent processing
Proceedings of the 33rd ACM SIGPLAN conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation - PLDI '12
Recovery functionality has many applications in computing systems, from speculation recovery in modern microprocessors to fault recovery in high-reliability systems. Modern systems commonly recover using checkpoints. However, checkpoints introduce overheads, add complexity, and often save more state than necessary. This paper develops a novel compiler technique to recover program state without the overheads of explicit checkpoints. The technique breaks programs into idempotent regions-regions
... at can be freely re-executed-which allows recovery without checkpointed state. Leveraging the property of idempotence, recovery can be obtained by simple re-execution. We develop static analysis techniques to construct these regions and demonstrate low overheads and large region sizes for an LLVM-based implementation. Across a set of diverse benchmark suites, we construct idempotent regions close in size to those that could be obtained with perfect runtime information. Although the resulting code runs more slowly, typical performance overheads are in the range of just 2-12%. The paradigm of executing entire programs as a series of idempotent regions we call idempotent processing, and it has many applications in computer systems. As a concrete example, we demonstrate it applied to the problem of compiler-automated hardware fault recovery. In comparison to two other state-of-the-art techniques, redundant execution and checkpoint-logging, our idempotent processing technique outperforms both by over 15%.