Fast Online Pointer Analysis

Many optimizations need information about points-to relationships to be effective. Pointer analysis infers such information from program code. Unfortunately, some common programming language features, such as dynamic linking, reflection, and foreign function interfaces, make pointer analyses difficult. For example, prior pointer analyses for the Java language either ignore these features or are overly conservative. To deal with dynamic linking, pointer analysis must run online, as the program is executing.

This paper presents the first non-trivial online pointer analysis. This paper identifies all problems in performing Andersen's pointer analysis for the full Java language, presents solutions to those problems, and uses a full implementation of the solutions in Jikes RVM for validation and performance evaluation. Our analysis is fast: on average over our benchmark suite, if the analysis recomputes points-to results upon each program change, most analysis pauses take under 0.1 seconds.

By: Martin Hirzel; Daniel von Dincklage; Amer Diwan; Michael Hind

Published in: RC23638 in 2005


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