Proteus: Computing disjunctive loop summary via path dependency analysis

Xiaofei Xie, Bihuan Chen, Yang Liu, Wei Le, Xiaohong Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Citations (Scopus)


Loops are challenging structures for program analysis, especially when loops contain multiple paths with complex interleaving executions among these paths. In this paper, we first propose a classification of multi-path loops to understand the complexity of the loop execution, which is based on the variable updates on the loop conditions and the execution order of the loop paths. Secondly, we propose a loop analysis framework, named Proteus, which takes a loop program and a set of variables of interest as inputs and summarizes path-sensitive loop effects on the variables. The key contribution is to use a path dependency automaton (PDA) to capture the execution dependency between the paths. A DFS-based algorithm is proposed to traverse the PDA to summarize the effect for all feasible executions in the loop. The experimental results show that Proteus is effective in three applications: Proteus can 1) compute a more precise bound than the existing loop bound analysis techniques; 2) significantly outperform state-of-The-Art tools for loop verification; and 3) generate test cases for deep loops within one second, while KLEE and Pex either need much more time or fail.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering
EditorsZhendong Su, Thomas Zimmermann, Jane Cleland-Huang
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342186
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, FSE 2016 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2016Nov 18 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering


Conference24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, FSE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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