Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Hanging' computers can be life threatening

Date:
August 26, 2011
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
When your email program or word processor "hangs" it is annoying, you lose messages or have to reboot your computer and start that writing project again if you hadn't saved the text. But, we depending increasingly on computers in almost all walks of life, not least critical systems such as air-traffic control, in which the computer "hanging" can be life threatening.

When your email program or word processor "hangs" it is annoying, you lose messages or have to reboot your computer and start that writing project again if you hadn't saved the text. But, we depending increasingly on computers in almost all walks of life, not least critical systems such as air-traffic control, in which the computer "hanging" can be life threatening.

Now, researchers at the Universitΰ degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and at Naples company SESM SCARL have developed a software tool that works at the operating system (OS) level and can detect when a computer program "hangs" and so allow a safe exit from any given system without crashing the computer as a whole and requiring a reboot of important systems. Writing in the International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems, SESM's Gabriella Carrozza explain their detection framework. The framework allows the non-intrusive monitoring of complex systems, based on multiple sources of data gathered at the OS level and the data collected data are then combined to reveal hang failures automatically.

Faults in software represent a major threat to the smooth running of sophisticated computer systems, according to Carrozza and colleagues. Testing and static code analysis are used widely to help detect and remove "bugs" in a system during development. However, once a software system is in place and being used in a real-world application, any number of problems can still occur, perhaps revealing bugs that were missed or simply triggered by memory overloads and timing errors. Such problems can cause just one critical component of the system to "hang" without crashing the whole system and without it being immediately obvious to operators or users of the system that there is a problem until it is too late.

Current software tools simply poll the health status of system components, or analyse system log files to uncover error messages and to correlate these with problematic memory or CPU component activity. However, they cannot spot "hangs" at the time they occur because the system might otherwise respond normally, but for the hanging failure.

The new approach taken by the Italian team relies on several simple monitors which exploit the OS support to trigger alarms when the behaviour of the system differs from the nominal one. "Our experimental results show that this framework increases the overall capacity of detecting hang failures, it exhibits a 100% coverage of observed failures, while keeping low the number of false positives, less than 6% in the worst case," the team says. Response time, or latency, between a hang occurring and it being detected is about 0.1 seconds on average, while the impact on computer performance of running the hang-detection software is, they add, negligible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "'Hanging' computers can be life threatening." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826085153.htm>.
Inderscience. (2011, August 26). 'Hanging' computers can be life threatening. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826085153.htm
Inderscience. "'Hanging' computers can be life threatening." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826085153.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) — Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins