Detecting Unread Memory Using Dynamic Binary Translation

  • Jon Eyolfson
  • Patrick Lam
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7687)


Reading from uninitialized memory—that is, reading from memory before it has been written to—is a well-known memory usage error, and many static and dynamic tools verify that programs always write to memory before reading it. This work investigates the converse behaviour—writes that never get read, which we call “unread writes”. Such writes are redundant—at best, they do not perform any useful work; furthermore, work done to compute the values to be written could corrupt the program state or cause a crash. We present a novel dynamic analysis, implemented on top of the Pin dynamic binary translation framework, which detects instances of unread writes at runtime. We have implemented our analysis and present experimental data about the prevalence of unread writes in a set of benchmark applications.


Memory Access Memory Block Memory Allocation Execution Trace Watch Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Eyolfson
    • 1
  • Patrick Lam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooCanada

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