Programming custom sasa daemons

The sasa Documentation already briefly explains how to:

  • run simulations using the Built-in Daemons
  • run simulations by playing the role of the Daemon “manually”
  • run simulations using a Lutin program

This tutorial is a little bit more detailed. In particular, it explains show how to write daemon programs, that are for instance written in Lutin.

Download and Compile an Example

Let’s first download a sasa self-stabilizing algorithm (if you haven’t already done this clone) that solves graph coloring problems:

[ -d "sasa" ] || git clone https://gricad-gitlab.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/verimag/synchrone/sasa.git
cd sasa/test/coloring

First, we need to compile the Ocaml program that implements the coloring algorithm. We also need to generate some registration code, as explained in the sasa API Documentation (Section “code registration”). The Makefile in the test directory automates this task, in such a way that you just need to type:

make ring.cmxs

which produces the following output:

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sasa -reg ring.dot
 [sasa] The file ring.ml has been generated
 [sasa] Warning: state.ml already exist.
ocamlfind ocamlopt -package algo -shared state.ml p.ml ring.ml -o ring.cmxs

This make rule invokes sasa with the -reg option (line 1) to generate registration files: the file ring.ml (line 2) is generated, but not state.ml (line 3) as it is already present in the current directory. Then (line 4), make invokes the ocaml compiler to generate the ring.cmxs file.

Run a Simulation with a User-Controlled Daemon

Once ring.cmxs is generated, we can launch the simulation. If we want to play manually the role of the daemon, we need to invoke sasa with the --custom-daemon option:

sasa ring.dot --custom-daemon
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#inputs "p1_conflict":bool "p2_conflict":bool "p3_conflict":bool "p4_conflict":bool "p5_conflict":bool "p6_conflict":bool "p7_conflict":bool
#outputs "p1_c":int "p2_c":int "p3_c":int "p4_c":int "p5_c":int "p6_c":int "p7_c":int "Enab_p1_conflict":bool "Enab_p2_conflict":bool "Enab_p3_conflict":bool "Enab_p4_conflict":bool "Enab_p5_conflict":bool "Enab_p6_conflict":bool "Enab_p7_conflict":bool
# Automatically generated by /home/jahier/.opam/4.09.0/bin/sasa version "2.14.6-9-gab7c3b9" ("ab7c3b9")
# on crevetete the 13/1/2020 at 16:33:01
#sasa ring.dot --custom-daemon
#seed 657259451
#step 1
#outs 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 t f f t t t t

By default, sasa prints on stdout data that follows the RIF convention1. Line 1 declares the sasa simulation inputs names and types, and line 2 declares the outputs. Here, we have 14 outputs: 2 outputs per process (there are 7 nodes in the ring.dot graph). Output named <process_name>_c hold values of the processes states; output named Enab_<process_name>_conflict hold Booleans that state that the corresponding process guard (named “conflict” in p.ml) is enabled. This simulation has 7 Boolean inputs: <process_name>_conflict that states which processes should be triggered. Of course, only enabled process guards should be triggered.

In RIF, each is separated by a #step pragma (line 7).

The program output values are preceeded by the #outs pragmas (line 8): here, we can see that for the first step, 5 processes are enabled: p1, p4, p5, p6, and p7.

If we want to trigger p1 and p6, we can enter the following input values: t f f f f t f

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#step 2
t f f f f t f #outs 2 1 0 1 1 2 0 f f f t t f f

With such an input vector, we can see that for the second step, only p4 and p5 are enabled.

Ditto, via Graphical Widgets (luciole-rif)

If you want to enter inputs (and visualize outputs) via a graphical widget, you just need to invoke sasa via luciole-rif:

luciole-rif sasa ring.dot --custom-daemon
Figure 1: A Luciole Screenshot

Figure 1: A Luciole Screenshot

For technical reasons (that should be turned around at some point), you can’t see which processes are enabled (you see only question marks), so you can’t really chose a process to trigger that is enabled. So, just click once on the step button to turn around this (minor) issue; the first Luciole output vector will be ignored anyway.

Figure 2: A Luciole Screenshot after a first (fake) step

Figure 2: A Luciole Screenshot after a first (fake) step

Now you should see which processes are enabled. So you can chose one process to trigger by clicking on one of the pi_conflict button. If you want to trigger more than one process at the same step, you need to select the Compose mode of Luciole accessible from the _Clocks menu.

Figure 3: A Luciole Screenshot once the Compose mode has been set

Figure 3: A Luciole Screenshot once the Compose mode has been set

Now you should be able to select several process actions and then click on the Step button.

Figure 4: A Luciole Screenshot after a first (real!) step where p1 and p2 were triggered

Figure 4: A Luciole Screenshot after a first (real!) step where p1 and p2 were triggered

You can visualize the input/output history of your simulations with the sim2chro chronograms viewer, that can be launched from the _Tools Button of Luciole, or (post-mortem) via the following command

sim2chrogtk -screenrealheight 2000 -ecran -in sasa.rif > /dev/null
Figure 5: A Sim2chro Screenshot after a few steps

Figure 5: A Sim2chro Screenshot after a few steps

Programming the Daemon in Lutin

Ok, now you are really tired of clicking on buttons, you may want to have a program doing this job for you, more or less randomly. The Lutin language has been designed for this purpose.

As the previous sections tried to daemonstrate, a sasa Daemon is a reactive program that:

  • inputs processes enabled status (Enab_pi_conflict), and processes local states (pi_c),
  • outputs processes trigger values (pi_conflict)

By using the --gen-lutin-daemon of sasa, you can generate Lutin nodes skeletons, which is handy to avoid to write the input/output declarations. Indeed this work is tedious as the variables names depend both on the algorithm implementation (the ocaml file(s)) and on the topology (the dot file).

sasa ring.dot --gen-lutin-daemon

This command generates a ring.lut file (if not already existing in the current directory), that contains a distributed node. This Lutin node implements the distributed daemon which behaves exactly as the sasa built-in distributed daemon (that you can use with the --distributed-daemon that you option).

This node is a good start to write your own custom daemon in Lutin.

Programming the Daemon in other languages

If you want, you can also program your daemon in any language, as long as it reads/writes on stdin/stdout with the RIF conventions.

But this might be the subject of another vtt post.


  1. This is useful for example to visualize the data via chronograms using sim2chro or gnuplot-rif. [return]