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The Story of Blind Men and the Elephant: Understanding Context Sensitivity

Speaker: Prof. Uday Khedker

Date/Time: Jan 14 11:30:00

Location: CSA Seminar Hall (Room No. 254, First Floor)

Faculty Advisor:

Abstract:
Context-sensitive methods of program analysis increase the precision of interprocedural analysis by achieving the effect of call inlining. These methods have been defined using different formalisms and hence appear as algorithms that are very different from each other. Some methods define context, whereas some do not. These methods place different kinds of restrictions on the data flow frameworks supported by them and seem to compute different kinds of values. As a consequence, it is difficult to compare the ideas behind these methods in spite of the fact that they solve essentially the same problem. We believe that these incomparable views are similar to blind men views of an elephant called context-sensitivity. We bring out this whole-elephant-view of context sensitivity in program analysis by proposing a unified model of context sensitivity which provides a clean separation between computation of contexts and computation of data flow values. Our model facilitates declarative specifications of context-sensitive methods by capturing the essence of context-sensitivity. We model most of the known context-sensitive methods using our unified model. This modelling uncovers the hidden notion of contexts in some methods, facilitates insightful comparisons between different methods, and facilitates cross fertilization of ideas and suggest interesting improvements in the known methods. Further, our unification also extends every modelled method to bidirectional analyses. This is a joint work with Swati Jaiswal.

Speaker Bio:
Uday P. Khedker (http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~uday) finished B.E. from GEC Jabalpur in 1986, M.Tech. from Pune University in 1989, and Ph.D. from IIT Bombay in 1995. He taught at the Department of Computer Science at Pune University from 1994 to 2001 and since then is with IIT Bombay where he is currently a Professor of Computer Science & Engg. His areas of interest are Programming Languages, Compilers and Program Analysis. He specialises in data flow analysis and its applications to code optimization. He has published papers in leading journals and conferences, has contributed chapters in a Compiler Design Handbook, and has authored a book titled “Data Flow Analysis: Theory and Practice” (http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~uday/dfaBook-web) published by Taylor and Francis (CRC Press).

Host Faculty: K V Raghavan