A global-state-triggered fault injector for distributed system evaluation

Ramesh Chandra, Ryan M. Lefever, Kaustubh R. Joshi, Michel Cukier, William H. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Validation of the dependability of distributed systems via fault injection is gaining importance because distributed systems are being increasingly used in environments with high dependability requirements. The fact that distributed systems can fail in subtle ways that depend on the state of multiple parts of the system suggests that a global-state-based fault injection mechanism should be used to validate them. However, global-state-based fault injection is challenging since it is very difficult in practice to maintain the global state of a distributed system at runtime with minimal intrusion into the system execution. This paper presents Loki, a global-state-based fault injector, which has been designed with the goals of low intrusion, high precision, and high flexibility. Loki achieves these goals by utilizing the ideas of partial view of global state, optimistic synchronization, and offline analysis. In Loki, faults are injected based on a partial view of the global state of the system, and a postruntime analysis is performed to place events and injections into a single global timeline and to discard experiments with incorrect fault injections. Finally, the experiments with correct fault injections are used to estimate user-specified performance and dependability measures. A flexible measure language has been designed that facilitates the specification of a wide range of measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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