Footprint Analysis: A Shape Analysis That Discovers Preconditions
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- Calcagno C., Distefano D., O’Hearn P.W., Yang H. (2007) Footprint Analysis: A Shape Analysis That Discovers Preconditions. In: Nielson H.R., Filé G. (eds) Static Analysis. SAS 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4634. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Existing shape analysis algorithms infer descriptions of data structures at program points, starting from a given precondition. We describe an analysis that does not require any preconditions. It works by attempting to infer a description of only the cells that might be accessed, following the footprint idea in separation logic. The analysis allows us to establish a true Hoare triple for a piece of code, independently of the context in which it occurs and without a whole-program analysis. We present experimental results for a range of typical list-processing algorithms, as well as for code fragments from a Windows device driver.
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