ECE Seminar Series

Joint Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Seminar

Title: Cooperative Program Analysis
Speaker: Bor-Yuh Evan Chang
Affiliation: University of Colorado-Boulder
Day: Monday, September 22, 2014
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: CSB 130

Abstract: Even though we have seen an explosion in the reasoning capabilities of automated program analyzers in the subsequent decades, it is still rare to see advanced program analyzers assisting software developers to find and fix bugs. This situation is not due to a lack of effort in deployment but rather a relative lack of techniques that enable the human user to take advantage of the wealth of information derived by the analyzer. In this talk, I present some of our approaches that move beyond the singular focus on automated reasoning engines to develop effective techniques that encompass the entire process of applying tools during software development. I discuss an approach that tackles imprecisions in an automated reasoning engine by coupling it with an after-the-fact, refutation analysis to assist in triaging the alarms it produces. We have applied this refutation-based approach to statically detecting memory leaks in Android applications. This class of memory leaks is particularly pernicious in that it is difficult to diagnose with testing and can easily cause phones to crash. We find that our approach of coupling up-front automated reasoning with after-the-fact assistive triage is a promising way to achieve the previously seemingly impossible level of precision needed to produce useful alarm reports.

Bio: Bor-Yuh Evan Chang is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is interested in tools and techniques for building, understanding, and ensuring reliable computational systems. His techniques target using novel ways of interacting with the programmer to design more precise and practical program analyses. He joined the CU-Boulder faculty in 2009 after receiving his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of California Berkeley and his B.S. in 2002 from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award (2010).