Point-Wise Must Alias and Its Application to Points-To Analysis

B. Xu, J. Qian, and Y. He (PRC)


Program analysis, alias analysis, points-to analysis


Must aliases can be used to perform strong updates for pointer analyses. However, this application has not yet been widely studied. Most of pointer analysis algorithms can perform strong updates only when a statement definitely defines a single location. In this paper, we present a notion named point wise must alias which is a must alias between two access paths in the same or different statements when the control flow is from one statement to the other. We incorporate such aliases into points-to analyses and show that they can improve the precision of pointer analyses by generating extra strong updates especially when multi-level pointers or heap pointers are intensively used. We conduct several experiments, the results of which indicate that the algorithm incorporating point-wise must aliases still remain practical.

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