Safety in numbers -- a cloud-based immune system for computers

January 27, 2010

A new approach for managing bugs in computer software has been developed by a team led by Prof. George Candea at EPFL. The latest version of Dimmunix, available for free download, enables entire networks of computers to cooperate in order to collectively avoid the manifestations of bugs in software.

A new IT tool, developed by the Dependable Systems Lab at EPFL in Switzerland, called "Dimmunix," enables programs to avoid future recurrences of bugs without any assistance from users or programmers. The approach, termed "failure immunity," starts working the first time a bug occurs - it saves a signature of the bug, then observes how the computer reacts, and records a trace. When the bug is about to manifest again, Dimmunix uses these traces to rec-ognize the bug and automatically alters the execution so the program continues to run smooth-ly. With Dimmunix, your Web browser learns how to avoid freezing a second time when bugs associated with, for example, plug-ins occur. Going a step further, the latest version uses cloud computing technology to take advantage of networks and thereby inoculating entire communities of computers.

"Dimmunix could be compared to a human immune system. Once the body is infected, its immune system develops antibodies. Subsequently, when the immune system encounters the same pathogen once again, the body recognizes it and knows how to effectively fight the ill-ness," explains George Candea, director of Dependable Systems Lab, where the new tool has been developed. The young Romanian professor received his PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 2005 and his BS (1997) and MEng (1998) in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The latest version, released online at the end of December (http://dimmunix.epfl.ch/), leverag-es the network. Based on the principle of cloud computing, all computers participating in the Dimmunix application community benefit from vaccines automatically produced whenever the first manifestation of a given bug within that community. This new version of Dimmunix is able to safely protect programs from bugs, even in un-trusted environments such as the In-ternet.

For the moment meant primarily for computer programmers, Dimmunix works for all widely-used programs used by private individuals and by companies. It is useful for programs written in Java and C/C++; it has been demonstrated on real software systems (JBoss, MySQL, Acti-veMQ, Apache, httpd, JDBC, Java JDK, and Limewire).
-end-
For more information:
George Candea
Tel: +41 21 693 46 48
Email: george.candea@epfl.ch
Lab website: http://dslab.epfl.ch/

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Related Cloud Computing Articles from Brightsurf:

Turbulence affects aerosols and cloud formation
Turbulent air in the atmosphere affects how cloud droplets form.

Using cloud-precipitation relationship to estimate cloud water path of mature tropical cyclones
Scientists find the cloud water path of mature tropical cyclones can be estimated by a notable sigmoid function of near-surface rain rate.

Analysis of human genomes in the cloud
Scientists from EMBL present a tool for large-scale analysis of genomic data with cloud computing.

Quantum cloud computing with self-check
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics.

Storage beyond the cloud
As the data boom continues to boom, more and more information gets filed in less and less space.

The secret life of cloud droplets
Do water droplets cluster inside clouds? Researchers confirm two decades of theory with an airborne imaging instrument.

Cloud computing load balancing based on ant colony algorithms improves performance
The criticality of certain sectors, as well as the requirement of users, involve Cloud providers to guarantee a high level of performance.

Army researcher minimizes the impact of cyber-attacks in cloud computing
Through a collaborative research effort, an Army researcher has made a novel contribution to cloud security and the management of cyberspace risks.

'Cloud computing' takes on new meaning for scientists
Clouds may be wispy puffs of water vapor drifting through the sky, but they're heavy lifting computationally for scientists wanting to factor them into climate simulations.

Space cloud discovery
No one has ever seen what Case Western Reserve University astronomers first observed using a refurbished 75-year-old telescope in the Arizona mountains.

Read More: Cloud Computing News and Cloud Computing Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.