Zhang Earns ACM SIGPLAN Dissertation Award
Prof. Xiangyu Zhang is the recipient of the 2006 ACM SIGPLAN Doctoral Dissertation Award. This highly competitive award is presented to one author each year in the area of Programming Languages. Zhang will receive a $1,000 prize for his outstanding efforts. The ACM SIGPLAN award recognizes work intended "to explore programming language concepts and tools focusing on design, implementation and efficient use."
Zhang's dissertation Fault Location via Precise Dynamic Slicing aims to smooth out the debugging process programmers face. His work focuses on reducing the cost of dynamic slicing and producing small fault candidate sets through innovative precise dynamic slicing.
To reduce time cost Zhang has developed a novel series of optimizations to produce a compact representation of large dynamic dependence graphs. He developed a compression algorithms to apply in order to achieve space efficiency. This compression allows a couple billion instructions to be held in a single Gigabyte of memory. To further scale he proposes another approach using checkpointing/logging to enable collection of dynamic history of only the relevant window of execution.
Zhang's work also contributes innovative ways of using precise dynamic slicing to produce smaller fault candidate sets. Thousands of statements can be produced from fault candidate sets, and faulty code becomes time consuming to identify. Techniques proposed by Zhang improve effectiveness of dynamic slicing for fault location reducing fault candidate sets by nearly a factor of 3.
Congratulations to Prof. Xiangyu Zhang for this accomplishment!