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Issue No.06 - June (2001 vol.27)
pp: 481-512
ABSTRACT
<p><b>Abstract</b>—At each program point, <it>points-to analysis</it> for statically typed object-oriented programming languages (e.g., Java, C++) determines those objects to which a reference may refer (or a pointer may point) during execution. Points-to analysis is necessary for any semantics-based software tools for object-oriented systems. Our new complexity results for points-to analysis distinguish the difficulty of intraprocedural and interprocedural points-to analyses for languages with combinations of single-level types (i.e., types with data members only of primitive type), exceptions with or without subtyping, and dynamic dispatch. Our results include: 1) The first polynomial-time algorithm for points-to analysis in the presence of exceptions that handles a robust subset of Java without threads and can be applied to C++; 2) proof that the above algorithm is safe, in general, and provably precise on programs with single-level types and exceptions without subtyping, but not dynamic dispatch, thus, this case is in <b>P</b>; 3) proof that an interprocedural points-to analysis problem with single-level types and exceptions with subtyping, but without dynamic dispatch, is <b>PSPACE-hard</b>, while the intraprocedural problem is <b>PSPACE-complete</b>. Other complexity characterizations of points-to analysis in programs without exceptions are presented, including an algorithm with worst-case bound of <tmath>${\rm O}(n^5)$</tmath>, which improves over the <tmath>${\rm O}(n^{7})$</tmath> worst-case bound achievable from previous approaches of Reps et al. [<ref rid="bibE048153" type="bib">53</ref>] and Landi and Ryder [<ref rid="bibE048142" type="bib">42</ref>].</p>
INDEX TERMS
Points-to analysis, Java, exceptions, complexity.
CITATION
Ramkrishna Chatterjee, Barbara G. Ryder, William A. Landi, "Complexity of Points-To Analysis of Java in the Presence of Exceptions", IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol.27, no. 6, pp. 481-512, June 2001, doi:10.1109/32.926173
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