Alva L. Couch > Software
Alva L. Couch - Software
Over the years, I and my students have developed much software for
visualization and network administration. Here is a sampling:
Maelstrom, a scripting language for
intelligent network debugging via dynamic precedence inference.
Using a syntax like a Makefile, Maelstom allows one to
combine scripts that investigate network problems into an
automatic suite, where Maelstrom takes responsibility for
determining the true precedences for scripts, starting
with guidance from the programmer but possibly trying
all permutations of the scripts until one permutation
works. This process takes at most O(n^2) trials,
where n is the number of scripts, and works in
O(n) if declared precedences are correct.
the dynamic dependency analyzer for Solaris systems.
A software project of student Yizhan Sun,
which programs reference a given library, by performing a global
analysis of the results of output from the
- Babble, a
for convergent administrative control of network consoles.
Given XML documents explaining how to perform administrative procedures,
Babble implements the procedures with extensive sanity checking,
avoiding need for custom scripting to accomplish the same task.
- Peep, the real-time network
Undergraduate student Michael Gilfix
helped develop software to represent network activity with natural
sounds. Currently available on Sourceforge:
Supported in part by a USENIX Student Software grant.
- Prodog, the Prolog system administration library.
This is a library that allows use of Prolog in common network administration
tasks, including convergent assurance of network state. Development
continues with undergraduate student John Hart on the front end
program Yokel (Yet anOther Konfiguration Engine Language) that
compiles human-readable administrative policies into Prolog, utilizing
the Holmes library to implement the policies.
- Selmer-Steinway Musical Instruments Database.
Together with Prof. Karen Panetta and several students, produced a
graphical user interface that collects quality control information on
musical instrument manufacturing, to replace a paper process.
Supported in part by a grant from Selmer Musical Instruments Inc.
- Provide, the simple online grading utility.
This program allows simple submission and online grading of electronic
assignment submissions in Computer Science and Computer Engineering
courses. It is specifically designed to be easy to use by graduate
students working on their own, to leverage faculty resources and
decrease faculty workload in managing grades. In production in EECS,
not publicly distributed (1998-present).
- WebProvide, online grading utility for
Comp20: Multimedia Programming. This complex and powerful tool
(11,000 lines of Perl) manages assignments and online grading in
Comp20. Capabilities include streamlined online assignment
submission, grading, and results reporting, as well as making
permanent archives of student work. In production in EECS, not
publicly distributed (1998-present).
- Distr, the ``right distribution'' utility,
a tool for remote file distribution.
This program replaces the popular rdist for situations
in which sites exchanging information
do not trust each other completely. It provides event-based
programming and automatic format transformation based upon
a management base notation independent of operating system
quirks and conventions.
Slink, the link manager, a tool for
configuration management of large executable program repositories in
the UNIX operating system. Now close to being a Tufts University
standard, and in use at several sites nationwide, Slink provides
an administrative environment that makes it safe to employ students as
system maintainers for centralized computer systems.
- Dexter, a tool for dynamic indexing and portrayal
of word position and frequency in large textual documents, November 1993.
Research prototype, not yet released.
- Xscal, the scalable
visualizer of trace files. Xscal an easy-to-use tool for scalable
visualization of one snapshot of processor statistics from a massively
parallel computer, June 1993.
Seeplex (Versions 2-4), an interactive data-flow
visualization system for execution traces from massively parallel
- Seeplex (Version 1), an interactive
real-time and post-mortem graphical viewing system for diagnostic
information maintained by the Simplex operating system for the
NCUBE hypercube multicomputer, 1988-1991.
- Seecube, an interactive
graphical viewing system for diagnostic event traces obtained
from hypercube multiprocessors, 1985-1988.
- Designed and implemented interview lottery and interactive
interview scheduling conflict resolution systems for the Tufts Career
Planning Center, 1985.
- Master Files, a custom
statistical analysis system for electron probe results, at NBREM, 1981.
- Designed and implemented a software system for automating
analysis of liquid droplet samples in an electron probe, at NBREM,
- Designed and implemented first viable microprocessor-based
laser scan animation system, M.I.T. Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1978.
Alva L. Couch > Software