Usually Received, Maybe Late, or Sometimes Dropped: simulating failure in message passing protocols

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Systems in perfect, failure-free environments are boring.  What happens to message passing protocols when CPUs are slow/overloaded, networks fail for 10 seconds (or 10 days), and processes crash?  Systems reacting to failure are *much* more interesting to study and much more difficult to debug in the real world.

Scott will discuss a tool built with PropEr and QuickCheck (and perhaps McErlang) to find interesting protocol bugs where it’s easy (i.e., on your desktop) instead of where it is hard/impossible (i.e., in your customer’s production network). See for the source code, documentation, and sample protocol simulation.


  • Scott Lystig Fritchie

    Decade-long Erlang addict
    Basho Technologies

    Scott Lystig Fritchie met his first UNIX system in 1986 and has almost never met one since that he didn't like.  A career detour as a UNIX systems administrator got him neck-deep in messaging systems, e-mail and Usenet News. He rediscovered full-time programming while at Sendmail, Inc., where a colleague introduced him to Erlang in 2000. His world hasn't been the same since then.

    In addition to hacking Erlang code and occasionally the Erlang virtual machine, he has had papers published by USENIX, the Erlang User Conference, and the ACM and has been a speaker at Erlang Factory.  He is a former co-chair of the ACM Erlang Workshop and current member of that workshop's steering committee.  Scott is a senior software engineer at Basho Technologies.

    Scott Lystig Fritchie
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Posted on June 6, 2011