Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New computer system solves problems by tricking computers


If people were computers, Srinidhi Varadarajan of Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science could enable them to go back to their youth to correct mistakes they made, adapt a jet engine to run a car, or change a part from one SUV engine to another as both vehicles sped down a highway side by side.

Of course, people aren’t computers and don’t need to do those things, but computers need to do equivalent processes. Varadarajan has come up with a computer technology he calls "Weaves" that allows the programmer to use a code in any programming language and convert it to a form similar to object-oriented programming. Weaves teachnology is used to create a virtual world that tricks the software into thinking it is in the real world.

The global computer network--the Internet--has doubled every year for nearly 20 years. The problem is how to test new pieces of network software on such a grand scale. The traditional method is through computer simulation, such as the model of a jet cockpit in which beginning pilots start to learn how to fly a plane. But simulation requires rewriting the software in a different form to test it, as the original cannot be tested. That creates two different versions, and there is no formal mechanism to ensure the equivalence of the test with the real thing, Varadarajan said.

Another method is emulation, or the direct testing of the original software. That way, the programmer can write a piece of software once and not have to rewrite it for simulation testing. The main problem with emulation is a lower degree of control than simulation.

"Why not create a virtual world to make software think it is in the real world?" , Varadarajan asked.,

Weaves can support both simulation and emulation testing, which was Varadarajan’s first goal. "You can’t test a piece of network software on 200-million computers," he said. Or even 5,000 computers. "But we can create hundreds of thousands of virtual machines that make software think it’s running on a very large-scale network. This leads to the creation of a virtual Internet."

Weaves can do all the things existing systems can do and more without asking software programmers to write code specifically for Weaves. "They just write it as they usually do and we take it," Varadarajan said. Then, through reverse analysis, Weaves can make any language look the same.

Also, Weaves allows for mistakes. "In each step in life, we take steps based on what we know," Varadarajan said. "If we realize we made a mistake and want to go back and undo it, we have to remember all the steps we took that caused the mistake." On the computer, the program must also remember all the steps made leading up to a mistake. "Trying to save all the information is very hard," Varadarajan said. "We are trying to make Netscape work without knowing the steps that lead up to the mistake. Weaves automatically does this. It records and saves data and shows what we need to go back in time to change." Thus the system allows for the weaving together of the languages and codes and for fast automatic checkpointing and recovery with no application support.

With a National Science Foundation CAREER award of $400,000 over five years for his proposal, "Weaving a Code Tapestry: A Compiler Directed Framework for Scalable Network Emulation," Varadarajan will continue his research, using "a novel vertical integration of the compiler-generated object framework, operating system and compiler support for fast and memory-efficient checkpointing, and a new adaptive time window based on parallel discrete event simulation algorithm, all of which work in conjunction."

"This synergy creates a new object-based framework for the development of large-scale simulations using code composition, without restricting the application programmer to any language or programming paradigm," Varadarajan said. This would be analogous to enabling a person to adapt a jet engine to work in a car or exchange parts in two fast-moving vehicles without stopping them.

As the educational component of the CAREER award, Varadarajan will develop learning modules to augment the simulation-based projects used in networking courses across the country to save students from spending an inordinate amount of time learning the intricacies of working in a simulation environment.

PR CONTACT: Sally Harris 540-231-6759
Researcher: Srinidhi Varadarajan, 540-231-5275,

Srinidhi Varadarajan | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>