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Prioritizing Constraint Evaluation for Efficient Points-to Analysis

The IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Code Generation Optimization 2011
Chamonix, France, April 02--06, 2011


  1. Rupesh Nasre, Department of Computer Science and Automation
  2. R. Govindarajan, Department of Computer Science and Automation; Supercomputer Education and Research Center


Pervasive use of pointers in large-scale real-world applications continues to make points-to analysis an important optimization-enabler. Rapid growth of software systems demands a scalable pointer analysis algorithm. A typical inclusion-based points-to analysis iteratively evaluates constraints and computes a points-to solution until a fixpoint. In each iteration, (i) points-to information is propagated across directed edges in a constraint graph G and (ii) more edges are added by processing the pointsto constraints. We observe that prioritizing the order in which the information is processed within each of the above two steps can lead to efficient execution of the points-to analysis. While earlier work in the literature focuses only on the propagation order, we argue that the other dimension, that is, prioritizing the constraint processing, can lead to even higher improvements on how fast the fixpoint of the points-to algorithm is reached. This becomes especially important as we prove that finding an optimal sequence for processing the points-to constraints is NPComplete. The prioritization scheme proposed in this paper is general enough to be applied to any of the existing points-to analyses. Using the prioritization framework developed in this paper, we implement prioritized versions of Andersen's analysis, Deep Propagation, Hardekopf and Lin's Lazy Cycle Detection and Bloom Filter based points-to analysis. In each case, we report significant improvements in the analysis times (33%, 47%, 44%, 20% respectively) as well as the memory requirements for a large suite of programs, including SPEC 2000 benchmarks and five large open source programs.


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