Skip to main content

Parametric Trace Slicing and Monitoring

  • Conference paper

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNTCS,volume 5505)


Analysis of execution traces plays a fundamental role in many program analysis approaches. Execution traces are frequently parametric, i.e., they contain events with parameter bindings. Each parametric trace usually consists of many trace slices merged together, each slice corresponding to a parameter binding. Several techniques have been proposed to analyze parametric traces, but they have limitations: some in the specification formalism, others in the type of traces they support; moreover, they share common notions, intuitions, even techniques and algorithms, suggesting that a fundamental understanding of parametric trace analysis is needed. This foundational paper gives the first solution to parametric trace analysis that is unrestricted by the type of parametric properties or traces that can be analyzed. First, a general purpose parametric trace slicing technique is discussed, which takes each event in the parametric trace and distributes it to its corresponding trace slices. This parametric trace slicing technique can be used in combination with any conventional, non-parametric trace analysis, by applying the latter on each trace slice. An online monitoring technique is then presented based on the slicing technique, providing a logic-independent solution to runtime verification of parametric properties. The presented monitoring technique has been implemented and extensively evaluated. The results confirm that the generality of the discussed techniques does not come at a performance expense when compared with existing monitoring systems.


  • Regular Expression
  • Parametric Property
  • Execution Trace
  • Parameter Binding
  • Parametric Monitor

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supported in part by NSF grants CCF-0448501, CNS-0509321 and CNS-0720512, by NASA contract NNL08AA23C, and by several Microsoft gifts.


  1. Allan, C., Avgustinov, P., Christensen, A.S., Hendren, L., Kuzins, S., Lhotak, O., de Moor, O., Sereni, D., Sittampalam, G., Tibble, J.: Adding trace matching with free variables to AspectJ. In: OOPSLA 2005. ACM, New York (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  2. AspectJ,

  3. Avgustinov, P., Tibble, J., de Moor, O.: Making trace monitoring feasible. In: OOPSLA 2007. ACM, New York (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barringer, H., Goldberg, A., Havelund, K., Sen, K.: Rule-based runtime verification. In: Steffen, B., Levi, G. (eds.) VMCAI 2004. LNCS, vol. 2937, pp. 44–57. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Barringer, H., Rydeheard, D.E., Havelund, K.: Rule systems for run-time monitoring: From Eagle to RuleR. In: Sokolsky, O., Taşıran, S. (eds.) RV 2007. LNCS, vol. 4839, pp. 111–125. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Blackburn, S.M., Garner, R., Hoffman, C., Khan, A.M., McKinley, K.S., Bentzur, R., Diwan, A., Feinberg, D., Frampton, D., Guyer, S.Z., Hirzel, M., Hosking, A., Jump, M., Lee, H., Moss, J.E.B., Phansalkar, A., Stefanović, D., Van Drunen, T., von Dincklage, D., Wiedermann, B.: The DaCapo benchmarks: Java benchmarking development and analysis. In: OOPSLA 2006. ACM Press, New York (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bodden, E.: J-lo, a tool for runtime-checking temporal assertions. Master’s thesis, RWTH Aachen University (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bodden, E., Chen, F., Roşu, G.: Dependent advice: A general approach to optimizing history-based aspects. In: AOSD 2009. ACM, New York (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Chen, F., Roşu, G.: MOP: An Efficient and Generic Runtime Verification Framework. In: OOPSLA 2007. ACM, New York (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Chen, F., Roşu, G.: Mining Parametric State-Based Specifications from Executions. Technical Report UIUCDCS-R-2008-3000, Dept. of Computer Science at UIUC (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Damm, W., Harel, D.: LSCs: Breathing life into message sequence charts. Formal Methods in System Design 19(1), 45–80 (2001)

    CrossRef  MATH  Google Scholar 

  12. Goldsmith, S., O’Callahan, R., Aiken, A.: Relational queries over program traces. In: OOPSLA 2005. ACM Press, New York (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Maoz, S., Harel, D.: From multi-modal scenarios to code: compiling lscs into aspectj. In: FSE 2006, pp. 219–230. ACM, New York (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Martin, M., Livshits, V.B., Lam, M.S.: Finding application errors and security flaws using PQL: a program query language. In: OOPSLA 2005. ACM, New York (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Meredith, P., Jin, D., Chen, F., Roşu, G.: Efficient monitoring of parametric context-free patterns. In: ASE 2008. IEEE/ACM (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Roşu, G., Chen, F.: Parametric Trace Slicing and Monitoring. Technical Report UIUCDCS-R-2008-2977, Dept. of Computer Science at UIUC (2008)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Chen, F., Roşu, G. (2009). Parametric Trace Slicing and Monitoring. In: Kowalewski, S., Philippou, A. (eds) Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems. TACAS 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5505. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-00767-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-00768-2

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)