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An Execution-Backtracking Approach to Debugging
May/June 1991 (vol. 8 no. 3)
pp. 21-26

Spyder, a system for selective checkpointing of computational sequences, is presented. It lets users backtrack from checkpoints without the need to reexecute the program to reach recent prior states. In contrast to more comprehensive (and storage-intensive) checkpointing schemes, backtracking in this approach is constrained to limit storage requirements. The resulting debugger offers a structured view of dynamic events, similar to lexical scope rules' effect on static visibility. The debugger also speeds backtracking to statements before loops and provides what-if capabilities.

Index Terms:
Spyder; execution-backtracking approach; selective checkpointing; computational sequences; prior states; checkpointing schemes; backtracking; storage requirements; debugger; structured view; dynamic events; static visibility; what-if capabilities; program debugging; programming; storage management
Hiralal Agrawal, Richard A. DeMillo, Eugene H. Spafford, "An Execution-Backtracking Approach to Debugging," IEEE Software, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 21-26, May-June 1991, doi:10.1109/52.88940
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