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Automatic detection and diagnosis of faults in generated code for procedure calls

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2 Author(s)
M. W. Bailey ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Hamilton Coll., Clinton, NY, USA ; J. W. Davidson

In this paper, we present a compiler testing technique that closes the gap between existing compiler implementations and correct compilers. Using formal specifications of procedure-calling conventions, we have built a target-sensitive test suite generator that builds test cases for a specific aspect of compiler code generators: the procedure-calling sequence generator. By exercising compilers with these specification-derived target-specific test suites, our automated testing tool has exposed bugs in every compiler tested on the MIPS and one compiler on the SPARC. These compilers include some that have been in heavy use for many years. Once a fault has been detected, the system can often suggest the nature of the problem. The testing system is an invaluable tool for detecting, isolating, and correcting faults in today's compilers.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 11 )