Efficient function call tracing with link-time binary rewriting for CE devices

Bon Keun Seo, Jinkyu Jeong, Joonwon Lee, Euiseong Seo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    As the scale and complexity of software components in consumer electronics increase, the importance of performance optimization is rapidly growing. Consequently, the demand for performance optimization tools tailored for the consumer electronics environment is stronger than ever. A function call tracer is a vital tool for investigating relationships between functions, invocation counts of a function, and elapsed time in a function. Despite its importance in performance optimization, the limited capability of embedded hardware prohibits use of existing dynamic binary instrumentation tools. Moreover, the use of closed proprietary components excludes source-level analysis tools out of viable options. In this paper, LITIFUT, a function call tracer designed for consumer electronics, is proposed. This tool rewrites an executable file or a library file to inject profiling code during the linking stage. This approach achieves as little performance overhead as source-level instrumentation and as minor developer-intervention as binary-level instrumentation. The prototype implementation supports the two most popular embedded processor architectures. The evaluation with a real-world embedded software application showed that LITIFUT successfully profiles program activities with insignificant overhead.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6689704
    Pages (from-to)892-900
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics
    Volume59
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Media Technology
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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