Enabling and supporting the debugging of software failures
Clause, James Alexander
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This dissertation evaluates the following thesis statement: Program analysis techniques can enable and support the debugging of failures in widely-used applications by (1) capturing, replaying, and, as much as possible, anonymizing failing executions and (2) highlighting subsets of failure-inducing inputs that are likely to be helpful for debugging such failures. To investigate this thesis, I developed techniques for recording, minimizing, and replaying executions captured from users' machines, anonymizing execution recordings, and automatically identifying failure-relevant inputs. I then performed experiments to evaluate the techniques in realistic scenarios using real applications and real failures. The results of these experiments demonstrate that the techniques can reduce the cost and difficulty of debugging.