Field Of Threads

Master’s Thesis on a tool for clarifying thread behavior

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Multithreaded programming is becoming increasingly important because of recent increase in the use of multiprocessor computing. Multithreaded or concurrent programming is inherently more complex than single threaded code, requiring the use of synchronization and causing possible problems like deadlock or dormancy. Dynamic analysis tools can aid in understanding the execution of concurrent programs and help with improving and debugging of these programs. Current tools express the complexity of concurrent programs with varying degrees of success. We have evaluated and analyzed the visualizations of these tools in relation to the inherent concurrency problems they were meant to solve and come up with an alternative approach to tracing, analyzing and visualizing program executions. By focusing on the use of shared fields we show memory based interaction between threads by use of sequence diagrams, structured in a novel way. This new approach is implemented in a Java based, Eclipse plugin, dynamic analysis tool called Field Of Thread (FOT). FOT provides a new low-level perspective to concurrency oriented dynamic analyses for visualizing shared memory based thread interaction.