Type checking beyond type checkers, via Slice & Run
Type checkers are the most commonly used form of static analysis, but their design is coupled to the rest of the language, making it hard or impossible to bring new kinds of reasoning to existing, unmodified code.
We propose a novel approach to checking advanced type invariants and properties in unmodified source code, while approaching the speed and ease of simple, syntax directed type checkers. The insight is that by combining a deep program analysis (symbolic execution) with a cheaper program abstraction (based on program slicing), it appears possible to reconstitute type-checking in the context of an underapproximate analysis. When the program’s ‘type level’ can be opportunistically disentangled from the ‘value level’, this is done by the program abstraction step, in some cases removing the underapproximation.
We implement a simple prototype that demonstrates this idea by checking the safety of generic pointers in C, pointing to benefits such as safe homogeneous and heterogeneous generic data structures.
Thu 19 Nov Times are displayed in time zone: Central Time (US & Canada) change
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