Archive for the ‘Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)’ Category

Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 52)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The modern software trace recording, visualization and analysis tools such as Process Monitor, Xperf, WPR and WPA provide stack traces associated with trace messages. Consider stack traces as software traces we have, in a more general case, traces (fibers) bundled together on (attached to) a base software trace. For example, a trace message, that mentions an IRP can have its I/O stack attached together with thread stack trace with function calls leading to a function that emitted the trace message. Another example is association of different types of traces with trace messages such as managed and unmanaged ones. This general trace analysis pattern needs a name so we opted for Fiber Bundle as analogy with a fiber bundle from mathematics. Here’s a graphical representation of stack traces recorded for each trace message where one message also has an associated I/O stack trace:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Software Diagnostics Services

Friday, July 13th, 2012

For some time I was struggling with finding a good name for memory dump and software trace analysis activities. The name Memoretics I use for the science of memory dump analysis (that also incorporates software traces) seems not so good to describe the whole practical activity that should be transparent to everyone in IT. Fortunately, I timely understood that all these activities constitute the essence of software diagnostics that previously lacked any solid foundation. Thus, Software Diagnostics Institute was reborn from the previous Crash Dump Analysis Portal. This institute does pure and applied research and scientific activities and in recent years was funded mainly from OpenTask publisher and recently from Memory Dump Analysis Services. The latter company also recognized that the broadening of its commercial activities requires a new name. So, Software Diagnostics Services was reborn:

The First Comprehensive Software Diagnostics Service

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Software Trace Diagrams (STDiagrams)

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

When depicting trace analysis patterns I used two-dimensional diagrams based on CDF (ETW) traces such as this one for a bifurcation point:

While working today on a new pattern I needed a new expressive way to graphically illustrate the same idea of trace bifurcation points but without too much drawing. Traces from particle chambers and scattering diagrams came to my imagination after draw the first few diagrams illustrating bifurcation points:

Time directional arrow end can be omitted:

Trace variation after a bifurcation point can be indicated by angle partition:

The case when a variation also happens before is illustrated on this diagram:

and the case with several bifurcations:

Are N-bifurcations like on the diagram below possible?

Yes, they are, if the course of execution depends on some non-binary trace message parameter such as a loaded module that implements a required interface differently.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Forthcoming Transcript of Introduction to Software Narratology Webinar

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

In a week this short full color book should appear in online bookstores:

  • Title: Software Narratology: An Introduction to the Applied Science of Software Stories
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Description: This is a transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Webinar about Software Narratology: an exciting new discipline and a field of research founded by When software executes it gives us its stories in the form of UI events, software traces and logs. Such stories can be analyzed for their structure and patterns for troubleshooting, debugging and problem resolution purposes. Topics also include software narremes and their types, anticipatory software construction and software diagnostics.
  • Publisher: OpenTask (April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 26 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043078

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Forthcoming Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a free Webinar on Unified Software Diagnostics (USD) and the new scalable cost-effective software support model called Pattern-Driven Software Support devised to address various shortcomings in existing tiered software support organizations. Examples cover Windows, Mac OS  and Linux.

 Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics Logo

Date: 22nd of June, 2012
Time: 17:00 (BST) 12:00 (EST) 09:00 (PST)
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Forthcoming Book: Inside Windows Debugging

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Discovered this forthcoming book and immediately preordered:

Inside Windows Debugging: A Practical Guide to Debugging and Tracing Strategies in Windows

From Safari Books Online table of contents I see it also includes Event Tracing for Windows:

Looking forward to reading it and writing a review.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -