Practical and accurate low-level pointer analysis

Bolei Guo, Matthew J. Bridges, Spyridon Triantafyllis, Guilherme Ottoni, Easwaran Raman, David I. August

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pointer analysis is traditionally performed once, early in the compilation process, upon an intermediate representation (IR) with source-code semantics. However, performing pointer analysis only once at this level imposes a phase-ordering constraint, causing alias information to become stale after subsequent code transformations. Moreover, high-level pointer analysis cannot be used at link time or run time, where the source code is unavailable. This paper advocates performing pointer analysis on a low-level intermediate representation. We present the first context-sensitive and partially flow-sensitive point s-to analysis designed to operate at the assembly level. As we will demonstrate, low-level pointer analysis can be as accurate as high-level analysis. Additionally, our low-level pointer analysis also enables a quantitative comparison of propagating high-level pointer analysis results through subsequent code transformations, versus recomputing them at the low level. We show that, for C programs, the former practice is considerably less accurate than the latter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization, CGO 2005
Pages291-302
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization, CGO 2005
Volume2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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    Guo, B., Bridges, M. J., Triantafyllis, S., Ottoni, G., Raman, E., & August, D. I. (2005). Practical and accurate low-level pointer analysis. In Proceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization, CGO 2005 (pp. 291-302). [1402096] (Proceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization, CGO 2005; Vol. 2005).