Empirical Comparison of Race Detection Tools for OpenMP Programs

  • Ok-Kyoon Ha
  • Young-Joo Kim
  • Mun-Hye Kang
  • Yong-Kee Jun
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 63)


Data races or races which occur in parallel programs such as OpenMP programs must be detected, because they may lead to unpredictable results of program executions. There are three representative tools which detect races which can occur in OpenMP programs: Thread Analyzer of Sun Inc., Thread Checker of Intel Corporation, and RaceStand of GNU. Two of these tools, Thread Checker and RaceStand, are known with their power for race detection through empirical analysis. But Thread Analyzer has not been analyzed empirically about its power for race detection and we cannot know exactly its race verification capability as well as its efficiency. This paper empirically analyzes the verification capability of Thread Analyzer using a set of synthetic programs which has nested parallelism or inter-thread coordination, and compares three race detection tools in an aspect of efficiency through OpenMP Micro-benchmarks of EPCC that measures loop scheduling and array operations. We predicted that Thread Analyzer verifies the existence of races in most OpenMP programs. And we found that Thread Analyzer is faster than Thread Checker about 5 times and 2 times slower than RaceStand in arraybench of EPCC. Also, it shows similar time variation with Thread Checker and is about 20 times slower than RaceStand in schedbench of EPCC.


OpenMP programs races race detection tools verification efficiency parallel loop programs 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Banerjee, U., Bliss, B., Ma, Z., Petersen, P.: A Theory of Data Race Detection. In: The 2006 Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Systems: Testing and Debugging (PADTAD), pp. 69–78. ACM Press, New York (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bull, J.M.: Measuring Synchronization and Scheduling Overheads in OpenMP. In: European Workshop on OpenMP (EWOMP), pp. 99–105 (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dinning, A., Schonberg, E.: Detecting Access Anomalies in Programs with Critical Sections. In: The ACM/ONR Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Debugging, pp. 85–96. ACM Press, New York (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jun, Y., Koh, K.: On-the-fly Detection of Access Anomalies in Nested Parallel Loops. In: 3rd ACM/ONR Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Debugging, pp. 107–117. ACM Press, New York (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kim, Y., Kang, M., Ha, O., Jun, Y.: Efficient Race Verification for Debugging Programs with OpenMP Directives. In: Malyshkin, V.E. (ed.) PaCT 2007. LNCS, vol. 4671, pp. 230–239. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kim, Y., Kim, D., Jun, Y.: An Empirical Analysis of Intel Thread Checker for Detecting Races in OpenMP Programs. In: IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Science, pp. 409–414. IEEE Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mellor-Crummey, J.M.: On-the-fly Detection of Data Races for Programs with Nested Fork-Join Parallelism. In: The ACM/IEEE conference on Supercomputing, pp. 24–33. ACM/IEEE, New York (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Netzer, R.H.B., Miller, B.P.: What Are Race Conditions? Some Issues and Formalizations. ACM Lett. Program. Lang. Syst. 1(1), 74–88 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    The OpenMP API specification for parallel programming,
  10. 10.
    Park, S., Park, M., Jun, Y.: A Comparison of Scalable Labeling Schemes for Detecting Races in OpneMP Programs. In: Eigenmann, R., Voss, M.J. (eds.) WOMPAT 2001. LNCS, vol. 2104, pp. 68–80. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Petersen, P., Shah, S.: OpenMP Support in the Intel Thread Checker. In: Voss, M.J. (ed.) WOMPAT 2003. LNCS, vol. 2716, pp. 1–12. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rinard, M.: Analysis of Multithreaded Programs. In: Cousot, P. (ed.) SAS 2001. LNCS, vol. 2126, pp. 1–19. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    SUN Microsystems, Inc.: Sun Studio 12: Thread Analyzer User’s Guide (2007)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Terboven, C.: Comparing Intel Thread Checker and Sun Thread Analyzer. In: Minisymp. on Scalability and Usability of HPC Prog. Tools Workshop, Parallel Computing (ParCo), NIC, NIC Series, Juelich, vol. 38, pp. 669–676 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ok-Kyoon Ha
    • 1
  • Young-Joo Kim
    • 2
  • Mun-Hye Kang
    • 1
  • Yong-Kee Jun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsGyongsang National UniversityJinjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of EngineeringKAISTDaejeonSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations