Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

You are cordially invited to attend the PhD Dissertation Defense of Danilo ANSALONI on Monday, April 28th at 10h30 in room 008 (Informatics building)
To gain insight about how to optimise, debug, test, and refactor a program, software developers are dependent on analysis tools. One popular class of tools is dynamic program analysis tools, which observe the runtime behaviour of a program and report properties of that execution. While there are tools for common analysis tasks, such as data race detection, memory leak detection, and calling-context profiling, there is a lack of tools that allow users to specify custom analyses. Moreover, the feasibility of complex analyses is often impaired by the large runtime overhead introduced in the observed program.

In this thesis we describe how to reconcile modularity and efficiency in the development of custom dynamic program analysis tools. Our contributions are twofold. We propose: i) a general architecture for dynamic program analysis tools that treats the maintenance of the analysis state in a modular fashion; ii) a novel technique to efficiently parallelize fine-grained analysis tasks. The beneficiaries of this work are not limited to advanced software developers specialised in the implementation of dynamic analysis tools, but include all programmers with specific instrumentation needs for a particular application. While we confirm the viability and benefits of our approach with several dynamic analysis tools targeting the Java Virtual Machine and based on bytecode instrumentation techniques, the presented concepts can be applied to other programming languages, environments, and analysis techniques.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Prof. Walter Binder, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Research Advisor)
  • Prof. Mehdi Jazayeri, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Internal Member)
  • Prof. Matthias Hauswirth, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland (Internal Member)
  • Prof. Shigeru Chiba - The University of Tokyo, Japan (External Member)
  • Prof. Mira Mezini - Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany (External Member)
  • Prof. Éric Tanter - University of Chile, Chile (External Member)