Fully Reflective Execution Environments: Virtual Machines for More Flexible Software

Guido Chari 1 Diego Garbervetsky 1 Stefan Marr 2 Stéphane Ducasse 3
2 RMOD - Analyses and Languages Constructs for Object-Oriented Application Evolution
Inria Lille - Nord Europe, CRIStAL - Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Signal et Automatique de Lille (CRIStAL) - UMR 9189
3 RMOD - Analyses and Languages Constructs for Object-Oriented Application Evolution
LIFL - Laboratoire d'Informatique Fondamentale de Lille, Inria Lille - Nord Europe
Abstract : VMs are complex pieces of software that implement programming language semantics in an efficient, portable, and secure way. Unfortunately, mainstream VMs provide applications with few mechanisms to alter execution semantics or memory management at run time. We argue that this limits the evolvability and maintainability of running systems for both, the application domain, e.g., to support unforeseen requirements, and the VM domain, e.g., to modify the organization of objects in memory. This work explores the idea of incorporating reflective capabilities into the VM domain and analyzes its impact in the context of software adaptation tasks. We characterize the notion of a fully reflective VM, a kind of VM that provides means for its own observability and modifiability at run time. This enables programming languages to adapt the underlying VM to changing requirements. We propose a reference architecture for such VMs and present TruffleMATE as a prototype for this architecture. We evaluate the mechanisms TruffleMATE provides to deal with unanticipated dynamic adaptation scenarios for security, optimization, and profiling aspects. In contrast to existing alternatives, we observe that TruffleMATE is able to handle all scenarios, using less than 50 lines of code for each, and without interfering with the application's logic.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [69 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01728111
Contributor : Lse Lse <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 9, 2018 - 8:14:10 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 2, 2019 - 3:06:02 PM
Long-term archiving on : Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 3:01:00 PM

File

08307099.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Citation

Guido Chari, Diego Garbervetsky, Stefan Marr, Stéphane Ducasse. Fully Reflective Execution Environments: Virtual Machines for More Flexible Software. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018, pp.1 - 20. ⟨10.1109/TSE.2018.2812715⟩. ⟨hal-01728111⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

354

Files downloads

224