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Title:Automated refactoring for Java concurrency
Author(s):Lin, Yu
Director of Research:Dig, Daniel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dig, Daniel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Marinov, Darko; Xie, Tao; Ivancic, Franjo
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Concurrency and Asynchrony
Empirical Study
Concurrent Collections
Atomicity Violation
Abstract:In multicore era, programmers exploit concurrent programming to gain performance and responsiveness benefits. However, concurrent programs are difficult to write: the programmer has to balance two conflicting forces, thread safety and performance. To make concurrent programming easier, modern programming languages provide many kinds of concurrent constructs, such as threads, asynchronous tasks, concurrent collections, etc. However, despite the existence of these concurrent constructs, we know little about how developers use them. On the other hand, although existing API documentation teach developers how to use concurrent constructs, developers can still misuse and underuse them. In this dissertation, we study the use, misuse, and underuse of two types of commonly used Java concurrent constructs: Java concurrent collections and Android async constructs. Our studies show that even though concurrent constructs are widely used in practice, developers still misuse and underuse them, causing semantic and performance bugs. We propose and develop a refactoring toolset to help developers correctly use concurrent constructs. The toolset is composed of three automated refactorings: (i) detecting and fixing the misuses of Java concurrent collections, (ii) retro fitting concurrency for existing sequential Android code via a basic Android async construct, and (iii) converting inappropriately used basic Android async constructs to appropriately enhanced constructs for Android apps. Refactorings (i) and (iii) aim to fix misused constructs while refactoring (ii) aims to eliminate underuses. First, we cataloged nine commonly misused check-then-act idioms of Java concurrent collections, and show the correct usage of each idiom. We implemented the detection strategies in a tool, CTADetector, that finds and fi xes misused check-then-act idioms. We applied CTADetector to 28 widely used open source Java projects (comprising 6.4 million lines of code) that use Java concurrent collections. CTADetector discovered and fixed 60 bugs. These bugs were con firmed by developers and the fixes were accepted. Second, we conducted a formative study on how a basic Android async construct, AsyncTask, is used, misused, and underused in Android apps. Based on the study, we designed, developed, and evaluated Asynchronizer, an automated refactoring tool that enables developers to retrofit concurrency into Android apps. The refactoring uses a points-to static analysis to determine the safety of the refactoring. We applied Asynchronizer to perform 123 refactorings in 19 widely used Android apps; their developers accepted 40 refactorings in 7 projects. Third, we conducted a formative study on a corpus of 611 widely-used Android apps to map the asynchronous landscape of Android apps, understand how developers retrofi t concurrency in Android apps, and learn about barriers encountered by developers. Based on this study, we designed, implemented, and evaluated AsyncDroid, a refactoring tool which enables Android developers to transform existing improperly-used async constructs into correct constructs. We submitted 45 refactoring patches generated by AsyncDroid in 7 widely used Android projects, and developers accepted 15 of them. Finally, we released all tools as open-source plugins for the widely used Eclipse IDE which has millions of Java users. Moreover, we also integrated CTADetector and AsyncDroid with a static analysis platform, ShipShape, that is developed by Google. Google envisions ShipShape to become a widely-used platform. Any app developer that wants to check code quality, for example before submitting an app to the app store, would run ShipShape on her code base. We expect that by contributing new async analyzers to ShipShape, millions of app developers would bene t by being able to execute our analysis and transformations on their code.
Issue Date:2015-09-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Yu Lin
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

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