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Breadcrumbs: Efficient Context Sensitivity for Dynamic Bug Detection Analyses ∗

By Michael D. Bond, Graham Z. Baker and Samuel Z. Guyer


Calling context—the set of active methods on the stack—is critical for understanding the dynamic behavior of large programs. Dynamic program analysis tools, however, are almost exclusively context insensitive because of the prohibitive cost of representing calling contexts at run time. Deployable dynamic analyses, in particular, have been limited to reporting only static program locations. This paper presents Breadcrumbs, an efficient technique for recording and reporting dynamic calling contexts. It builds on an existing technique for computing a compact (one word) encoding of each calling context that client analyses can use in place of a program location. The key feature of our system is a search algorithm that can reconstruct a calling context from its encoding using only a static call graph and a small amount of dynamic information collected at cold (infrequently executed) callsites. Breadcrumbs require

Topics: Performance, Experimentation Context sensitivity, dynamic analysis, bug detection
Year: 2011
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