Automatic Recovery from Runtime Failures

Antonio Carzaniga, Alessandra Gorla, Andrea Mattavelli, Nicolò Perino, and Mauro Pezzè

University of Lugano, Switzerland; Saarland University, Germany

Track: Technical Research
Session: Program Repair
We present a technique to make applications resilient to failures. This technique is intended to maintain a faulty application functional in the field while the developers work on permanent and radical fixes. We target field failures in applications built on reusable components. In particular, the technique exploits the intrinsic redundancy of those components by identifying workarounds consisting of alternative uses of the faulty components that avoid the failure. The technique is currently implemented for Java applications but makes little or no assumptions about the nature of the application, and works without interrupting the execution flow of the application and without restarting its components. We demonstrate and evaluate this technique on four mid-size applications and two popular libraries of reusable components affected by real and seeded faults. In these cases the technique is effective, maintaining the application fully functional with between 19% and 48% of the failure-causing faults, depending on the application. The experiments also show that the technique incurs an acceptable runtime overhead in all cases.