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A fast paced stroll from theory to practice in systems research

Giuseppe Antonio Di Luna
Data dell'evento: 
Friday, 29 January, 2021 - 15:00
DIAG, Aula Magna + Zoom
Leonardo Querzoni

Abstract: The talk will be a summary of my research activities from the practical ones, in the fields of cyber-security and compilers testing, to the one of a more theoretical nature in distributed computing. 

The first part of the talk will focus on a really recent work on the correctness of debug information in optimized binaries. When debugging issues there is the need to interpret core dumps and reproduce the problems on the same binary deployed in production. This requires the entire toolchain (compiler, linker, debugger) to correctly generate and use debug information. Little attention has been devoted to checking that such information is correctly preserved by modern toolchains’ optimization stages. This is particularly important as managing debug information in optimized production binaries is non-trivial, often leading to toolchain bugs that may hinder post-deployment debugging effort. In this part, we present Debug2, a framework to find debug information bugs in modern toolchains.  We have used Debug2 to find 23 bugs in the LLVM toolchain (clang/lldb), 8 bugs in the GNU toolchain (GCC/gdb), and 3 in the Rust toolchain (rustc/lldb). 

The second part of talk will be an overview of my other research activities. I will first discuss my research in Cyber-security focussed on applying techniques borrowed from NLP to the analysis of binaries. Then, I will talk about my research in the distributed computing area, on Programmable Matters and Dynamic networks.
Short Bio: Giuseppe Antonio Di Luna got his Ph.D. from Sapienza University of Rome in 2015. After his Ph.D. he did a postdoc at the University of Ottawa, working on fault-tolerant distributed algorithms, distributed robotics, and algorithm design for programmable particles. In 2018 he started a postdoc at the Aix-Marseille University, where he worked on dynamic graphs. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow at Sapienza funded by the AXA fellowship and performing research on applying NLP techniques to the binary analysis domain and assessing the correctness of debug symbols.
gruppo di ricerca: 
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