Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 10)

Recently I came upon two software traces from working and non-working software environments that were a perfect example of Bifurcation Point pattern (the name is borrowed from catastrophe theory):

Working (issue is absent):

#   PID  TID  Message
[…]
25  2768 3056 Trace Statement A 
26  3756 2600 Trace Statement B 
27  3756 2600 Trace Statement C 
[…]

149 3756  836 Trace Statement X (Query result: XXX)
150 3756  836 Trace Statement 150.1 
151 3756  836 Trace Statement 151.1
152 3756  836 Trace Statement 152.1 
153 3756  836 Trace Statement 153.1 
[…]

Non-working (issue is present):

#   PID  TID  Message
[…]
27  2768 3056 Trace Statement A 
28  3756 2176 Trace Statement B 
29  3756 2176 Trace Statement C 
[…]

151 3756 5940 Trace Statement Y (Query result: YYY)
152 3756 5940 Trace Statement 152.2 
153 3756 5940 Trace Statement 153.2 
154 3756 5940 Trace Statement 154.2 
155 3756 5940 Trace Statement 155.2 
[…]

First, we notice that in both traces PID are the same (2768 and 3756) and we can conclude that most likely both traces came from the same environment and session. Second, messages A, B, C and further are identical up to messages X and Y. The latter two messages differ greatly in their query results XXX and YYY. After that, message distribution differs greatly in both size and content. Despite the same tracing time, 15 seconds, statement current is 155 msg/s for working and 388 msg/s for non-working case.

Bifurcation points are easily observed when tracing noise ratio is small and, for example, in the case of Citrix terminal services environments, could be achieved by selecting appropriate tracing modules based on problem description or filtering irrelevant ones from full CDF traces.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ TraceAnalysis.org -

One Response to “Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 10)”

  1. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 28) Says:

    […] that we started comparing both traces looking for a bifurcation point and we found the error that was only present in a non-working trace with a significant trace […]

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