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Word for a logic path execution counter?

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-02-10
Hello, I'm proposing a debugging/profiling technique in which we set up some add'l variables that count the number of times a certain logic path is executed within  our code.

For reasons I won't bore you with (I'm trying to persuade people to make a little effort to use these), I feel like what I call this type of variable will be important.  

Counters?
Turnstiles?
Events?
PathExecutionCounters?

I feel like there is some computer-science-y technical term out there that I should be using, but otherwise I'd like to think of a snappy term that immediately calls to mind its purpose (whether literal or by analogy).

(Oddball question I know, but you guys have generally knocked these out of the park.)

Thanks!
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Question by:RonMexico
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6 Comments
 
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TommySzalapski earned 800 total points
ID: 38811523
Any reason you are building these variables into your code instead of using a profiler that does all that for you? There are many profilers out there already and you won't have to worry about corner cases where you forgot to put your counters.

Off the top of my head, I'd call them "iteration counters."
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LVL 27

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by:aburr
aburr earned 400 total points
ID: 38811524
path tracker
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by:d-glitch
d-glitch earned 400 total points
ID: 38811584
These are frequently called loop counters
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Author Comment

by:RonMexico
ID: 38811625
Thanks for the good responses, I'll keep this open a bit.

@TommySzalpaski: interesting, do they have these for straight embedded C programming (no OS)?  Or are they debugger based?  I'm thinking about something that is always in there, and you can query these values via a serial port at any time.  But I'd like to look into profilers, for sure.
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by:TommySzalapski
TommySzalapski earned 800 total points
ID: 38811769
There are some that are designed to work in embedded environments. I did a Google search for "embedded C profiler" and saw several promising links. One of the articles is from someone describing how he made his own
http://www.blisstonia.com/eolson/notes/profile_arm.php
If one of the off-the-shelf ones (like embeddedprofiler.com) doesn't work, you could try that approach. It would be a lot better (in my opinion) then trusting all the developers to add the right "event counters."
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LVL 32

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by:phoffric
phoffric earned 400 total points
ID: 38812094
For some of my projects we purchased a product that would "instrument" all or parts of our source code files (our choice) to perform run-time checks. Immediately after each compilation, the source code was restored to its original state. Generally, unless there is a strong need, the instrumented code should be removed when programs go into production. (This was especially true for embedded real-time boxes.)
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