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WYSIWIB: A declarative approach to finding API protocols and bugs in Linux code

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6 Author(s)
Lawall, J.L. ; DIKU, Univ. of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark ; Brunel, J. ; Palix, N. ; Hansen, R.R.
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Eliminating OS bugs is essential to ensuring the reliability of infrastructures ranging from embedded systems to servers. Several tools based on static analysis have been proposed for finding bugs in OS code. They have, however, emphasized scalability over usability, making it difficult to focus the tools on specific kinds of bugs and to relate the results to patterns in the source code. We propose a declarative approach to bug finding in Linux OS code using a control-flow based program search engine. Our approach is WYSIWIB (What You See Is Where It Bugs), since the programmer expresses specifications for bug finding using a syntax close to that of ordinary C code. The key advantage of our approach is that search specifications can be easily tailored, to eliminate false positives or catch more bugs. We present three case studies that have allowed us to find hundreds of potential bugs.

Published in:

Dependable Systems & Networks, 2009. DSN '09. IEEE/IFIP International Conference on

Date of Conference:

June 29 2009-July 2 2009