Vamos: Middleware for Best-Effort Third-Party Monitoring.


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As the complexity and criticality of software increase every year, so does the importance of run-time monitoring. Third-party monitoring, with limited knowledge of the monitored software, and best-effort monitoring, which keeps pace with the monitored software, are especially valuable, yet underexplored areas of run-time monitoring. Most existing monitoring frameworks do not support their combination because they either require access to the monitored code for instrumentation purposes or the processing of all observed events, or both. We present a middleware framework, Vamos, for the run-time monitoring of software which is explicitly designed to support third-party and best-effort scenarios. The design goals of Vamos are (i) efficiency (keeping pace at low overhead), (ii) flexibility (the ability to monitor black-box code through a variety of different event channels, and the connectability to monitors written in different specification languages), and (iii) ease-of-use. To achieve its goals, Vamos combines aspects of event broker and event recognition systems with aspects of stream processing systems. We implemented a prototype toolchain for Vamos and conducted experiments including a case study of monitoring for data races. The results indicate that Vamos enables writing useful yet efficient monitors, is compatible with a variety of event sources and monitor specifications, and simplifies key aspects of setting up a monitoring system from scratch.
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