Pushdown Control-Flow Analysis for Free

11 Jul 2015  ·  Thomas Gilray, Steven Lyde, Michael D. Adams, Matthew Might, David Van Horn ·

Traditional control-flow analysis (CFA) for higher-order languages, whether implemented by constraint-solving or abstract interpretation, introduces spurious connections between callers and callees. Two distinct invocations of a function will necessarily pollute one another's return-flow. Recently, three distinct approaches have been published which provide perfect call-stack precision in a computable manner: CFA2, PDCFA, and AAC. Unfortunately, CFA2 and PDCFA are difficult to implement and require significant engineering effort. Furthermore, all three are computationally expensive; for a monovariant analysis, CFA2 is in $O(2^n)$, PDCFA is in $O(n^6)$, and AAC is in $O(n^9 log n)$. In this paper, we describe a new technique that builds on these but is both straightforward to implement and computationally inexpensive. The crucial insight is an unusual state-dependent allocation strategy for the addresses of continuation. Our technique imposes only a constant-factor overhead on the underlying analysis and, with monovariance, costs only O(n3) in the worst case. This paper presents the intuitions behind this development, a proof of the precision of this analysis, and benchmarks demonstrating its efficacy.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now


Programming Languages D.3.4


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper