Our paper on Bespoke Control Flow Analysis CFA at Scale is selected for ICSE'20

December 08, 2019

Links: Papers

This work proposes bespoke control flow analysis (bcfa), a novel source code analysis technique for performing large scale source code analysis over the control flow graphs.

The paper’s abstract:

``Many data-driven software engineering tasks such as discovering programming patterns, mining API specifications, etc., perform source code analysis over control flow graphs (CFGs) at scale. Analyzing millions of CFGs can be expensive and performance of the analysis heavily depends on the underlying CFG traversal strategy. State-of-the-art analysis frameworks use a fixed traversal strategy. We argue that a single traversal strategy does not fit all kinds of analyses and CFGs and propose bespoke control flow analysis (BCFA). Given a control flow analysis (CFA) and a large number of CFGs, BCFA selects the most efficient traversal strategy for each CFG. BCFA extracts a set of properties of the CFA by analyzing the code of the CFA and combines it with properties of the CFG, such as branching factor and cyclicity, for selecting the optimal traversal strategy. We have implemented BCFA in Boa, and evaluated BCFA using a set of representative static analyses that mainly involve traversing CFGs and two large datasets containing 287 thousand and 162 million CFGs. Our results show that BCFA can speedup the large scale analyses by 1%-28%. Further, BCFA has low overheads; less than 0.2%, and low misprediction rate; less than 0.01%.’’