Soft error sensitivity and vulnerability of languages and their implementations
by Frederico Cerveira; Alcides Fonseca; Raul Barbosa; Henrique S. Madeira
International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems (IJCCBS), Vol. 9, No. 4, 2019

Abstract: Hardware manufacturing advances along with the popularisation of energy saving techniques are predicted to cause an increase in the soft error rate, which in turn will transfer part of the responsibility for tolerating these errors to the software layer. Since the programming language and its supporting implementation have a determinant impact in the produced application, fault injection was used in this paper to evaluate the effect that different programming languages and different implementations (compilers or interpreters) have on the sensitivity and vulnerability to soft errors. The results show that programming language and workload strongly impact these metrics, that programming languages of the same type share similar failure mode distributions, and that the implementation can impact sensitivity and vulnerability in certain scenarios. For these reasons, we suggest that a change in the implementation of the language at a late stage in the project development cycle can be enough to improve the vulnerability and sensitivity without changing the programming language.

Online publication date: Thu, 16-Apr-2020

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