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Rapid development of simple, custom program analysis tools

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1 Author(s)
Sullivan, K.J. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA, USA

Compiler based program analysis tools can aid program understanding. Requirements for such tools include practicality and high assurance: Tools have to be economical to develop and run and applicable to real systems; and engineers have to have a basis for confidently interpreting tool results. These requirements can be hard to meet. Sophisticated tools can be costly to build and use; complexities of real systems can render compiler based tools useless; and it can be hard to interpret tool results. These problems raise three questions: Are simple, high assurance tools practical? Are they useful? What are the key issues for practicality and assurance in general? To help get answers, the author has designed a component based architecture for rapid tool development. He discusses the architecture and its use, and summarizes an experience using a tool to analyze a real system-a version of Mosaic. Work to date demonstrates the feasibility of rapidly developing simple, practical high assurance tools, and sheds light on some of the practicality and assurance issues

Published in:

Program Comprehension, 1996, Proceedings., Fourth Workshop on

Date of Conference:

29-31 Mar 1996