Copenhagen Programming Language Seminar

On the Design of Generic Static Analyzers for Modern Imperative Languages

Roberto Bagnara
Department of Mathematics, University of Parma, Italy

Thursday, June 28, 15:15-16:30
DIKU, Universitetsparken 1, Room N026


The design and implementation of precise static analyzers for significant fragments of modern imperative languages like C, C++, Java and Python is a challenging problem. Here we consider a core imperative language that has several features found in mainstream languages such as those including recursive functions, run-time system and user-defined exceptions, and a realistic data and memory model. For this language we provide a concrete semantics – characterizing both finite and infinite computations – and a generic abstract semantics that we prove sound with respect to the concrete one. We say the abstract semantics is generic since it is designed to be completely parametric on the analysis domains: in particular, it provides support for relational domains (i.e., abstract domains that can capture the relationships between different data objects). We also sketch how the proposed methodology can be extended to accommodate a larger language that includes pointers, compound data objects and non-structured control flow mechanisms. The approach, which is based on structured, big-step operational semantics and on abstract interpretation, is modular in that the overall static analyzer is naturally partitioned into components with clearly identified responsibilities and interfaces, something that greatly simplifies both the proof of correctness and the implementation.

(Joint work with Patricia M. Hill, Andrea Pescetti and Enea Zaffanella.)

Host: John Gallagher. All are welcome.
The Copenhagen Programming Language Seminar (COPLAS) is a collaboration between DIKU, ITU, and RUC.
COPLAS is sponsored by the FIRST Research School.
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