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Visualizing and Querying Nested Trace Occurrences

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115244D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 70K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lehr, T: AUTHOR

Abstract

"Tracing" a software or hardware system is the recording of the chronology of events or states which the system executed. Trace chronologies are used in performance analysis and debugging. When tracing time-stamps the events, the chronology can be organized visually as a time-line marked with various icons, colors and shapes to represent the events contained in that chronology.

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Visualizing and Querying Nested Trace Occurrences

      "Tracing" a software or hardware system is the recording of the
chronology of events or states which the system executed.  Trace
chronologies are used in performance analysis and debugging.  When
tracing time-stamps the events, the chronology can be organized
visually as a time-line marked with various icons, colors and shapes
to represent the events contained in that chronology.

      In trace time-lines, events are often paired, forming
event-pairs, or "occurrences," with start- and end-times.  Examples
of events which can be paired in this way are the start and end of
programs, functions and system calls.  Thus, occurrences are objects
like programs, functions, system calls or literally any set of
time-stamped paired events.

      Given this, it is clear that occurrences can be nested
(programs can contain functions which contain systems calls ..  et
cetera).  PieScope is a trace visualization tool which depicts
occurrences along time-lines using bars of color producing
sophisticated chronological bar charts.  This representation has been
shown to be an effective way of distilling complex trace data
(*) "Data Structure and Insertion Algorithm for Representing
Asynchronous Occurrences for Visualization by Trace Visualization
Tools Using Ghant Charts with Occurrence Hierarchies".  A program
which is shown on a 20 second time-line and begins at 5 seconds while
ending at 10 seconds would appear as a colored bar parallel to the
time-line extending from one-fourth of the time-line to the half-way
mark.  If the program had made function calls, those calls would be
represented at bars, colored differently from the program bar,
contained with the program bar.

      Such a representation is compact and versatile.  Unfortunately,
it suffers from the same difficulty as other trace...