Bridging the design and implementation of distributed systems with program analysis

Tuesday August 21st, 12-1PM @ BA5205

Speaker: Ivan Beschastnikh

Title:
Bridging the design and implementation of distributed systems with program analysis

Abstract:
Much of today’s software runs in a distributed context: mobile apps communicate with the cloud, web apps interface with complex distributed backends, and cloud-based systems use geo-distribution and replication for performance, scalability, and fault tolerance. However, distributed systems that power most of today’s infrastructure pose unique challenges for software developers. For example, reasoning about concurrent activities of system nodes and even understanding the system’s communication topology can be difficult.

In this talk I will overview three program analysis techniques developed in my group that address these challenges. First, I will present Dinv, a dynamic analysis technique for inferring likely distributed state properties of distributed systems. By relating state across nodes in the system Dinv infers properties that help reason about system correctness. Second, I will review Dara, a model checker for distributed systems that introduces new techniques to cope with state explosion by combining traditional abstract model checking with dynamic model inference techniques. Finally, I will discuss PGo, a compiler that compiles formal specifications written in PlusCal/TLA+ into runnable distributed system implementations in the Go language. All three projects employ program analysis in the context of distributed systems and aim to bridge the gap between the design and implementations of such systems.

Bio:
Ivan Beschastnikh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He finished his PhD at the University of Washington in 2013 and received his formative training at the University of Chicago. He has broad research interests that touch on systems and software engineering. His recent projects span distributed systems, program analysis, networks, and security. Visit his homepage to learn more: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~bestchai/