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Detecting Software Cache Coherence Violations in MPSoC Using Traces Captured on Virtual Platforms

Auteur(s) : M. Cunha, O. Matoussi, F. Pétrot

Journal : Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS)

Volume : 16

Issue : 2

Pages : 30:1-30:21

Doi : 10.1145/2990193

Software cache coherence schemes tend to be the solution of choice in dedicated multi/many core systems on chip, as they make the hardware much simpler and predictable. However, despite the developers’ effort, it is hard to make sure that all preventive measurements are taken to ensure coherence. In this work, we propose a method to identify the potential cache coherence violations using traces obtained from virtual platforms. These traces contain causality relations among events, which allow first to simplify the analysis, and second to avoid relying on timestamps. Our method identifies potential violations that may occur during a given execution for write-through and write-back cache policies. Therefore, it is independent of the software coherence protocol. We conducted experiments on parallel applications running on a lightweight SMP operating system, and we were able to detect coherence issues that we could then solve.