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Pick your contexts well: understanding object-sensitivity

RelationalAI

01 January 2011

less than a minute read

Pick your contexts well: understanding object-sensitivity

Object-sensitivity has emerged as an excellent context abstraction for points-to analysis in object-oriented languages. Despite its practical success, however, object-sensitivity is poorly understood.

Yannis Smaragdakis, Martin Bravenboer, Ondrej Lhotak. 2011.

In Proceedings of the 38th annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on Principles of programming languages (POPL ‘11).

Object-sensitivity has emerged as an excellent context abstraction for points-to analysis in object-oriented languages. Despite its practical success, however, object-sensitivity is poorly understood. For instance, for a context depth of 2 or higher, past scalable implementations deviate significantly from the original definition of an object-sensitive analysis. The reason is that the analysis has many degrees of freedom, relating to which context elements are picked at every method call and object creation. We offer a clean model for the analysis design space, and discuss a formal and informal understanding of object-sensitivity and of how to create good object-sensitive analyses. The results are surprising in their extent.

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