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  • Table of Content
      30 September 2021, Volume 36 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Special Section of APPT 2021 (Part 1)
    Chao Li, Yun Liang
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 961-962.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0006-z
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    Improving Ocean Data Services with Semantics and Quick Index
    Xiao-Li Ren, Kai-Jun Ren, Zi-Chen Xu, Xiao-Yong Li, Ao-Long Zhou, Jun-Qiang Song, Ke-Feng Deng
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 963-984.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1374-0
    Massive ocean data acquired by various observing platforms and sensors poses new challenges to data management and utilization. Typically, it is difficult to find the desired data from the large amount of datasets efficiently and effectively. Most of existing methods for data discovery are based on the keyword retrieval or direct semantic reasoning, and they are either limited in data access rate or do not take the time cost into account. In this paper, we creatively design and implement a novel system to alleviate the problem by introducing semantics with ontologies, which is referred to as Data Ontology and List-Based Publishing (DOLP). Specifically, we mainly improve the ocean data services in the following three aspects. First, we propose a unified semantic model called OEDO (Ocean Environmental Data Ontology) to represent heterogeneous ocean data by metadata and to be published as data services. Second, we propose an optimized quick service query list (QSQL) data structure for storing the pre-inferred semantically related services, and reducing the service querying time. Third, we propose two algorithms for optimizing QSQL hierarchically and horizontally, respectively, which aim to extend the semantics relationships of the data service and improve the data access rate. Experimental results prove that DOLP outperforms the benchmark methods. First, our QSQL-based data discovery methods obtain a higher recall rate than the keyword-based method, and are faster than the traditional semantic method based on direct reasoning. Second, DOLP can handle more complex semantic relationships than the existing methods.
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    SOOP: Efficient Distributed Graph Computation Supporting Second-Order Random Walks
    Songjie Niu, Dongyan Zhou
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 985-1001.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1234-y
    The second-order random walk has recently been shown to effectively improve the accuracy in graph analysis tasks. Existing work mainly focuses on centralized second-order random walk (SOW) algorithms. SOW algorithms rely on edge-to-edge transition probabilities to generate next random steps. However, it is prohibitively costly to store all the probabilities for large-scale graphs, and restricting the number of probabilities to consider can negatively impact the accuracy of graph analysis tasks. In this paper, we propose and study an alternative approach, SOOP (second-order random walks with on-demand probability computation), that avoids the space overhead by computing the edge-to-edge transition probabilities on demand during the random walk. However, the same probabilities may be computed multiple times when the same edge appears multiple times in SOW, incurring extra cost for redundant computation and communication. We propose two optimization techniques that reduce the complexity of computing edge-to-edge transition probabilities to generate next random steps, and reduce the cost of communicating out-neighbors for the probability computation, respectively. Our experiments on real-world and synthetic graphs show that SOOP achieves orders of magnitude better performance than baseline precompute solutions, and it can efficiently computes SOW algorithms on billion-scale graphs.
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    Robustness Assessment of Asynchronous Advantage Actor-Critic Based on Dynamic Skewness and Sparseness Computation: A Parallel Computing View
    Tong Chen, Ji-Qiang Liu, He Li, Shuo-Ru Wang, Wen-Jia Niu, En-Dong Tong, Liang Chang, Qi Alfred Chen, Gang Li
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1002-1021.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1217-z
    Reinforcement learning as autonomous learning is greatly driving artificial intelligence (AI) development to practical applications. Having demonstrated the potential to significantly improve synchronously parallel learning, the parallel computing based asynchronous advantage actor-critic (A3C) opens a new door for reinforcement learning. Unfortunately, the acceleration's influence on A3C robustness has been largely overlooked. In this paper, we perform the first robustness assessment of A3C based on parallel computing. By perceiving the policy's action, we construct a global matrix of action probability deviation and define two novel measures of skewness and sparseness to form an integral robustness measure. Based on such static assessment, we then develop a dynamic robustness assessing algorithm through situational whole-space state sampling of changing episodes. Extensive experiments with different combinations of agent number and learning rate are implemented on an A3C-based pathfinding application, demonstrating that our proposed robustness assessment can effectively measure the robustness of A3C, which can achieve an accuracy of 83.3%.
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    A Novel Probabilistic Saturating Counter Design for Secure Branch Predictor
    Lu-Tan Zhao, Rui Hou, Kai Wang, Yu-Lan Su, Pei-Nan Li, Dan Meng
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1022-1036.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1253-8
    In a modern processor, branch prediction is crucial in effectively exploiting the instruction-level parallelism for high-performance execution. However, recently exposed vulnerabilities reveal the urgency to improve the security of branch predictors. The vital cause of the branch predictor vulnerabilities is that the update strategy of the saturating counter is deterministic. As a fundamental building block in a modern branch predictor, previous studies have paid too much attention to the performance and hardware cost and ignored the security of saturating counter. This leaves attackers with the opportunities to perform side-channel attacks on the branch predictor. This paper focuses on the saturating counter to explore a secure and lightweight design to mitigate branch predictor side-channel attacks. Instead of applying the isolation mechanism to branch predictor resources, we propose a novel probabilistic saturating counter design to confuse the attacker's perception of the victim's behaviour. It changes the conventional deterministic state transition function to a probabilistic state transition function. When a branch is committed, the conventional saturating counter needs to be updated about whether the prediction results are correct or not. While for the probabilistic saturating counter, the branch predictor determines whether the update is performed based on the update probability. The probabilistic saturating counter dramatically reduces the ability of the attacker to spy the saturating counter's state. Our analyses using a cycle-accurate simulator suggest that the proposed mechanism incurs 2.4% performance overhead and hardware cost while providing strong protection.
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    Write-Optimized B+ Tree Index Technology for Persistent Memory
    Rui-Xiang Ma, Fei Wu, Bu-Rong Dong, Meng Zhang, Wei-Jun Li, Chang-Sheng Xie
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1037-1050.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1247-6
    Due to its low latency, byte-addressable, non-volatile, and high density, persistent memory (PM) is expected to be used to design a high-performance storage system. However, PM also has disadvantages such as limited endurance, thereby proposing challenges to traditional index technologies such as B+ tree. B+ tree is originally designed for dynamic random access memory (DRAM)-based or disk-based systems and has a large write amplification problem. The high write amplification is detrimental to a PM-based system. This paper proposes WO-tree, a write-optimized B+ tree for PM. WO-tree adopts an unordered write mechanism for the leaf nodes, and the unordered write mechanism can reduce a large number of write operations caused by maintaining the entry order in the leaf nodes. When the leaf node is split, WO-tree performs the cache line flushing operation after all write operations are completed, which can reduce frequent data flushing operations. WO-tree adopts a partial logging mechanism and it only writes the log for the leaf node. The inner node recognizes the data inconsistency by the read operation and the data can be recovered using the leaf node information, thereby significantly reducing the logging overhead. Furthermore, WO-tree adopts a lock-free search for inner nodes, which reduces the locking overhead for concurrency operation. We evaluate WO-tree using the Yahoo! Cloud Serving Benchmark (YCSB) workloads. Compared with traditional B+ tree, wB-tree, and Fast-Fair, the number of cache line flushes caused by WO-tree insertion operations is reduced by 84.7%, 22.2%, and 30.8%, respectively, and the execution time is reduced by 84.3%, 27.3%, and 44.7%, respectively.
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    FDGLib: A Communication Library for Efficient Large-Scale Graph Processing in FPGA-Accelerated Data Centers
    Yu-Wei Wu, Qing-Gang Wang, Long Zheng, Xiao-Fei Liao, Hai Jin, Wen-Bin Jiang, Ran Zheng, Kan Hu
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1051-1070.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1242-y
    With the rapid growth of real-world graphs, the size of which can easily exceed the on-chip (board) storage capacity of an accelerator, processing large-scale graphs on a single Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) becomes difficult. The multi-FPGA acceleration is of great necessity and importance. Many cloud providers (e.g., Amazon, Microsoft, and Baidu) now expose FPGAs to users in their data centers, providing opportunities to accelerate large-scale graph processing. In this paper, we present a communication library, called FDGLib, which can easily scale out any existing single FPGA-based graph accelerator to a distributed version in a data center, with minimal hardware engineering efforts. FDGLib provides six APIs that can be easily used and integrated into any FPGA-based graph accelerator with only a few lines of code modifications. Considering the torus-based FPGA interconnection in data centers, FDGLib also improves communication efficiency using simple yet effective torus-friendly graph partition and placement schemes. We interface FDGLib into AccuGraph, a state-of-the-art graph accelerator. Our results on a 32-node Microsoft Catapult-like data center show that the distributed AccuGraph can be 2.32x and 4.77x faster than a state-of-the-art distributed FPGA-based graph accelerator ForeGraph and a distributed CPU-based graph system Gemini, with better scalability.
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    Harmonia: Explicit Congestion Notification and Credit-Reservation Transport Converged Congestion Control in Datacenters
    Ding-Huang Hu, De-Zun Dong, Yang Bai, Shan Huang, Ze-Jia Zhou, Zi-Hao Wei, Xiang-Ke Liao
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1071-1086.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1243-x
    Bursty traffic and thousands of concurrent flows incur inevitable network congestion in datacenter networks (DCNs) and then affect the overall performance. Various transport protocols are developed to mitigate the network congestion, including reactive and proactive protocols. Reactive schemes use different congestion signals, such as explicit congestion notification (ECN) and round trip time (RTT), to handle the network congestion after congestion arises. However, with the growth of scale and link speed in datacenters, reactive schemes encounter a significant problem of slow responding to congestion. On the contrary, proactive protocols (e.g., credit-reservation protocols) are designed to avoid congestion before it occurs, and they have the advantages of zero data loss, fast convergence and low buffer occupancy. But credit-reservation protocols have not been widely deployed in current DCNs (e.g., Microsoft, Amazon), which mainly deploy ECN-based protocols, such as data center transport control protocol (DCTCP) and data center quantized congestion notification (DCQCN). And in an actual deployment scenario, it is hard to guarantee one protocol to be deployed in every server at one time. When credit-reservation protocol is deployed to DCNs step by step, the network will be converted to multi-protocol state and will face the following fundamental challenges:1) unfairness, 2) high buffer occupancy, and 3) heavy tail latency. Therefore, we propose Harmonia, aiming for converging ECN-based and credit-reservation protocols to fairness with minimal modification. To the best of our knowledge, Harmonia is the first to address the trouble of harmonizing proactive and reactive congestion control. Targeting the common ECN-based protocols-DCTCP and DCQCN, Harmonia leverages forward ECN and RTT to deliver real-time congestion information and redefines feedback control. After the evaluation, the results show that Harmonia effectively solves the unfair link allocation, eliminating the timeouts and addressing the buffer overflow.
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    Special Section of 2020 CCF Integrated Circuit Design and Automation Conference
    Partial-TMR: A New Method for Protecting Register Files Against Soft Error Based on Lifetime Analysis
    Xian-Geng Liang, Ying-Ke Gao, Geng-Xin Hua
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1089-1101.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0852-8
    High-energy particles in the space can easily cause soft error in register file (RF). As a critical structure in a processor, RF often stores data for long periods of time and is read frequently, resulting in a higher probability of spreading corrupted data to other parts of the processor. The triple modular redundancy (TMR) is a common and effective fault tolerance method that enables multi-bit error correction. Designing full TMR for all the registers could cause excessive area and power overheads. However, some registers in RF have less impact on processor reliability. Therefore, there is no need to design TMR for them. This paper designs an efficient strategy which can rate the registers in RF based on their vulnerability. Based on the proposed strategy, a new RF fault tolerance method named Partial-TMR formulates in this paper, which selectively protects more vulnerable registers against multi-bit error, and improves fault tolerance efficiency. For integer RF, Partial-TMR improves its soft error correction capability by 24.5% relative to the baseline system and 3% relative to ParShield, while for floating-point RF, the improvement comes to 5.17% and 0.58% respectively. The soft error correction capability of Partial-TMR is slightly lower than that of full TMR by 1% to 3%, but Partial-TMR significantly cuts the area and power overheads. Compared with full TMR, Partial-TMR decreases the area and power overheads by 71.6% and 64.9%, respectively. It also has little impact on the performance. Partial-TMR is a more cost-effective fault tolerance method compared with ParShield and full TMR.
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    Machine Learning Aided Key-Guessing Attack Paradigm Against Logic Block Encryption
    Yi Zhong, Jian-Hua Feng, Xiao-Xin Cui, Xiao-Le Cui
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1102-1117.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0846-6
    Hardware security remains as a major concern in the circuit design flow. Logic block based encryption has been widely adopted as a simple but effective protection method. In this paper, the potential threat arising from the rapidly developing field, i.e., machine learning, is researched. To illustrate the challenge, this work presents a standard attack paradigm, in which a three-layer neural network and a naive Bayes classifier are utilized to exemplify the key-guessing attack on logic encryption. Backed with validation results obtained from both combinational and sequential benchmarks, the presented attack scheme can specifically accelerate the decryption process of partial keys, which may serve as a new perspective to reveal the potential vulnerability for current anti-attack designs.
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    Defect-Tolerant Mapping of CMOL Circuit Targeting Delay Optimization
    Xiao-Jing Zha, Yin-Shui Xia, Shang-Luan Xie, Zhu-Fei Chu
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1118-1132.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0904-0
    In view of the significant number of defective nanodevices in the Cmos/nanowire/MOLecular hybrid (CMOL) circuit, defect-tolerant mapping is an essential step to achieve correct logic operations in defective CMOL circuits. However, less effort has been made to improve circuit delay by defect-tolerant strategies. In this paper, the factors affecting the delay of mapped circuits are analyzed, and the path-tree based defect-tolerant mapping method for the delay optimization is proposed. From the logic-domain, the terminology of the path tree is presented, and the logic circuit is first partitioned into multiple path trees. Then, the mapping areas in the physic-domain are pre-planned for (near) critical path trees. During the mapping process, the specific mapping modes and an updating strategy are formulated to map the path trees:inputs are mapped based on input sorting; (near) critical path trees are mapped with priority, while the others are mapped in a hierarchical way. Finally, an improved tabu search algorithm is employed to verify the validity of the proposed defect-tolerant mapping method. Experimental evaluations on the ISCAS benchmarks show that the proposed method can reduce circuit delay by 15.22%.
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    Temperature-Aware Electromigration Analysis with Current-Tracking in Power Grid Networks
    Jing Wang, Yi-Ci Cai, Qiang Zhou
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1133-1144.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0909-8
    Electromigration (EM) is a severe reliability issue in power grid networks. The via array possesses special EM characteristics and suffers from Joule heating and current crowding, closely related to EM violations. In this study, a power grid EM analysis method was developed to solve temperature variation effects for the via array EM. The new method is based on the temperature-aware EM model, which considers the effects of self-heating and thermal coupling of interconnected lines in a power grid. According to the model, the proposed methodology introduces a locality-driven strategy and current tracking to perform full-chip EM assessment for multilayered power grids. The results show that temperature due to Joule heating indeed has significant impacts on the via EM failure. The results further demonstrate that the proposed method might reasonably improve efficiency while ensuring the accuracy of the analysis.
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    Inversion Optimization Strategy Based on Primitives with Complement Attributes
    Hui-Ming Tian, Zhu-Fei Chu
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1145-1154.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0898-7
    Inverters or logic primitives that have complement attributes are essential to building a logical complement system. NAND and NOR operations which have complement attributes are of high interest for complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor (CMOS) technology, as they can be easily implemented in transistors. Different from the logic models used in standard CMOS, several nano-emerging technologies, such as quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) and spin torque majority gates, are in favor of realizing a majority voter function but imposing difficulties in implementing inversions. Previous studies pay lots of effort in optimizing the number of inverters in logic representations, whereas the mapping using primitives with complement attributes is not a major concern. In this paper, we establish a technology mapping method from logic representations to nanotechnology primitives by considering NAND-NOR-Inverter (NNI) and exclusive-NOR (XNOR) operations. We adopt XOR-Majority Graph (XMG) as a logic representation. The proposed mapping method is evaluated using the QCA technology. Experimental results over EPFL benchmark suites show we achieve 11.77% and 30.13% reductions in the area and the number of inverters, respectively.
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    Area Efficient Pattern Representation of Binary Neural Networks on RRAM
    Feng Wang, Guo-Jie Luo, Guang-Yu Sun, Yu-Hao Wang, Di-Min Niu, Hong-Zhong Zheng
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1155-1166.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0906-y
    Resistive random access memory (RRAM) has been demonstrated to implement multiply-and-accumulate (MAC) operations using a highly parallel analog fashion, which dramatically accelerates the convolutional neural networks (CNNs). Since CNNs require considerable converters between analog crossbars and digital peripheral circuits, recent studies map the binary neural networks (BNNs) onto RRAM and binarize the weights to {+1, -1}. However, two mainstream representations for BNN weights introduce patterns of redundant 0s and 1s when dealing with negative weights. In this work, we reduce the area of redundant 0s and 1s by proposing a BNN weight representation framework based on the novel pattern representation and a corresponding architecture. First, we spilt the weight matrix into several small matrices by clustering adjacent columns together. Second, we extract 1s' patterns, i.e., the submatrices only containing 1s, from the small weight matrix, such that each final output can be represented by the sum of several patterns. Third, we map these patterns onto RRAM crossbars, including pattern computation crossbars (PCCs) and pattern accumulation crossbars (PACs). Finally, we compare the pattern representation with two mainstream representations and adopt the more area efficient one. The evaluation results demonstrate that our framework can save over 20% of crossbar area effectively, compared with two mainstream representations.
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    Regular Paper
    Exploiting the Community Structure of Fraudulent Keywords for Fraud Detection in Web Search
    Dong-Hui Yang, Zhen-Yu Li, Xiao-Hui Wang, Kavé Salamatian, Gao-Gang Xie
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1167-1183.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0218-2
    Internet users heavily rely on web search engines for their intended information. The major revenue of search engines is advertisements (or ads). However, the search advertising suffers from fraud. Fraudsters generate fake traffic which does not reach the intended audience, and increases the cost of the advertisers. Therefore, it is critical to detect fraud in web search. Previous studies solve this problem through fraudster detection (especially bots) by leveraging fraudsters' unique behaviors. However, they may fail to detect new means of fraud, such as crowdsourcing fraud, since crowd workers behave in part like normal users. To this end, this paper proposes an approach to detecting fraud in web search from the perspective of fraudulent keywords. We begin by using a unique dataset of 150 million web search logs to examine the discriminating features of fraudulent keywords. Specifically, we model the temporal correlation of fraudulent keywords as a graph, which reveals a very well-connected community structure. Next, we design DFW (detection of fraudulent keywords) that mines the temporal correlations between candidate fraudulent keywords and a given list of seeds. In particular, DFW leverages several refinements to filter out non-fraudulent keywords that co-occur with seeds occasionally. The evaluation using the search logs shows that DFW achieves high fraud detection precision (99%) and accuracy (93%). A further analysis reveals several typical temporal evolution patterns of fraudulent keywords and the co-existence of both bots and crowd workers as fraudsters for web search fraud.
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    Apollo: Rapidly Picking the Optimal Cloud Configurations for Big Data Analytics Using a Data-Driven Approach
    Yue-Wen Wu, Yuan-Jia Xu, Heng Wu, Lin-Gang Su, Wen-Bo Zhang, Hua Zhong
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1184-1199.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-0232-4
    Big data analytics applications are increasingly deployed on cloud computing infrastructures, and it is still a big challenge to pick the optimal cloud configurations in a cost-effective way. In this paper, we address this problem with a high accuracy and a low overhead. We propose Apollo, a data-driven approach that can rapidly pick the optimal cloud configurations by reusing data from similar workloads. We first classify 12 typical workloads in BigDataBench by characterizing pairwise correlations in our offline benchmarks. When a new workload comes, we run it with several small datasets to rank its key characteristics and get its similar workloads. Based on the rank, we then limit the search space of cloud configurations through a classification mechanism. At last, we leverage a hierarchical regression model to measure which cluster is more suitable and use a local search strategy to pick the optimal cloud configurations in a few extra tests. Our evaluation on 12 typical workloads in HiBench shows that compared with state-of-the-art approaches, Apollo can improve up to 30% search accuracy, while reducing as much as 50% overhead for picking the optimal cloud configurations.
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    Constructing an Educational Knowledge Graph with Concepts Linked to Wikipedia
    Fu-Rong Dang, Jin-Tao Tang, Kun-Yuan Pang, Ting Wang, Sha-Sha Li, Xiao Li
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1200-1211.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-020-0328-2
    To use educational resources efficiently and dig out the nature of relations among MOOCs (massive open online courses), a knowledge graph was built for MOOCs on four major platforms:Coursera, EDX, XuetangX, and ICourse. This paper demonstrates the whole process of educational knowledge graph construction for reference. And this knowledge graph, the largest knowledge graph of MOOC resources at present, stores and represents five classes, 11 kinds of relations and 52 779 entities with their corresponding properties, amounting to more than 300 000 triples. Notably, 24 188 concepts are extracted from text attributes of MOOCs and linked them directly with corresponding Wikipedia entries or the closest entries calculated semantically, which provides the normalized representation of knowledge and a more precise description for MOOCs far more than enriching words with explanatory links. Besides, prerequisites discovered by direct extractions are viewed as an essential supplement to augment the connectivity in the knowledge graph. This knowledge graph could be considered as a collection of unified MOOC resources for learners and the abundant data for researchers on MOOC-related applications, such as prerequisites mining.
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    Vulnerable Region-Aware Greybox Fuzzing
    Ling-Yun Situ, Zhi-Qiang Zuo, Le Guan, Lin-Zhang Wang, Xuan-Dong Li, Jin Shi, Peng Liu
    Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2021, 36 (5): 1212-1228.  DOI: 10.1007/s11390-021-1196-0
    Fuzzing is known to be one of the most effective techniques to uncover security vulnerabilities of large-scale software systems. During fuzzing, it is crucial to distribute the fuzzing resource appropriately so as to achieve the best fuzzing performance under a limited budget. Existing distribution strategies of American Fuzzy Lop (AFL) based greybox fuzzing focus on increasing coverage blindly without considering the metrics of code regions, thus lacking the insight regarding which region is more likely to be vulnerable and deserves more fuzzing resources. We tackle the above drawback by proposing a vulnerable region-aware greybox fuzzing approach. Specifically, we distribute more fuzzing resources towards regions that are more likely to be vulnerable based on four kinds of code metrics. We implemented the approach as an extension to AFL named RegionFuzz. Large-scale experimental evaluations validate the effectiveness and efficiency of RegionFuzz-11 new bugs including three new CVEs are successfully uncovered by RegionFuzz.
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