Complex Systems

Testing Parallel Simulators for Two-Dimensional Lattice-Gas Automata Download PDF

Richard Squier
Kenneth Steiglitz
Department of Computer Science, Princeton University,
Princeton, New Jersey 08544


We describe a test method for lattice-gas automata of the type introduced by Frisch, Hasslacher, and Pomeau. The test method consists of inserting test patterns into the initial state of the automaton and using a graphics display to detect errors. The test patterns are carefully constructed limit cycles that are disrupted by errors occurring at any level of the simulator system. The patterns can be run independently to test the system for debugging purposes, or they can be run as sub-simulations embedded in a larger lattice-gas simulation to detect faults at runtime. We describe the use of this method on a prototype parallel machine for lattice-gas simulations, and discuss the range of systems that can make use of this type of test method. The test patterns detect all significant one-bit errors. We include experimental results that indicate multiple-bit errors are unlikely to escape detection.