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A Probabilistic Dynamic Technique for the Distributed Generation of Very Large State Spaces

William J. Knottenbelt, Peter G. Harrison, Mark Mestern, Pieter Kritzinger

Journal Article
Performance Evaluation
Volume 39
Issues 1–4
February, 2000
DOI 10.1016/S0166-5316(99)00061-9

Conventional methods for state space exploration are limited to the analysis of small systems because they suffer from excessive memory and computational requirements. We have developed a new dynamic probabilistic state exploration algorithm which addresses this problem for general, structurally unrestricted state spaces.

Our method has a low state omission probability and low memory usage that is independent of the length of the state vector. In addition, the algorithm can be easily parallelised. This combination of probability and parallelism enables us to rapidly explore state spaces that are an order of magnitude larger than those obtainable using conventional exhaustive techniques.

We derive a performance model of this new algorithm in order to quantify its benefits in terms of distributed run-time, speedup and efficiency. We implement our technique on a distributed-memory parallel computer and demonstrate results which compare favourably with the performance model. Finally, we discuss suitable choices for the three hash functions upon which our algorithm is based.

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