Publication
PLDI 2013
Conference paper

Thresher: Precise refutations for heap reachability

Abstract

We present a precise, path-sensitive static analysis for reasoning about heap reachability; that is, whether an object can be reached from another variable or object via pointer dereferences. Precise reachability information is useful for a number of clients, including static detection of a class of Android memory leaks. For this client, we found that the heap reachability information computed by a state-of-the-art points-to analysis was too imprecise, leading to numerous false-positive leak reports. Our analysis combines a symbolic execution capable of path-sensitivity and strong updates with abstract heap information computed by an initial flow-insensitive points-to analysis. This novel mixed representation allows us to achieve both precision and scalability by leveraging the pre-computed points-to facts to guide execution and prune infea-sible paths. We have evaluated our techniques in the THRESHER tool, which we used to find several developer-confirmed leaks in Android applications. Copyright © 2013 ACM.

Date

02 Sep 2013

Publication

PLDI 2013

Authors

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