Improving Driver Robustness : an Evaluation of the Devil Approach

Abstract : To keep up with the frantic pace at which devices come out, drivers need to be quickly developed, debugged and tested. We have recently introduced a new approach to improve driver robustness based on an Interface Definition Language, named Devil. Devil allows a high-level definition of the communicati- on of a device. A compiler automatically checks the consistency of a Devil specification and generates stubs that include run-time checks. In this paper, we use mutation analysis to evaluate the improvement in driver robustness offered by Devil. To do so, we have injected programming errors using mutation analyses into Devil based Linux drivers and the original C drivers. We assess how early errors can be caught in the development process, by measuring whether errors are detected either at compile time or at run time. The results of our experiments on the IDE Linux disk driver show that nearly 3 times more errors are detected in the Devil driver than in the original C driver.
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Laurent Réveillère, Gilles Muller. Improving Driver Robustness : an Evaluation of the Devil Approach. [Research Report] RR-4136, INRIA. 2001. ⟨inria-00072490⟩

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