Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Introspective pushdown analysis and Nebo
by Earl, Christopher, Ph.D., The University of Utah, 2014, 154; 3621541
Abstract (Summary)

In the static analysis of functional programs, control-flow analysis (κ-CFA) is a classic method of approximating program behavior as a finite state automata. CFA2 and abstract garbage collection are two recent, yet orthogonal improvements, on κ-CFA. CFA2 approximates program behavior as a pushdown system, using summarization for the stack. CFA2 can accurately approximate arbitrarily-deep recursive function calls, whereas κ-CFA cannot. Abstract garbage collection removes unreachable values from the store/heap. If unreachable values are not removed from a static analysis, they can become reachable again, which pollutes the final analysis and makes it less precise. Unfortunately, as these two techniques were originally formulated, they are incompatible. CFA2's summarization technique for managing the stack obscures the stack such that abstract garbage collection is unable to examine the stack for reachable values.

This dissertation presents introspective pushdown control-flow analysis, which manages the stack explicitly through stack changes (pushes and pops). Because this analysis is able to examine the stack by how it has changed, abstract garbage collection is able to examine the stack for reachable values. Thus, introspective pushdown control-flow analysis merges successfully the benefits of CFA2 and abstract garbage collection to create a more precise static analysis.

Additionally, the high-performance computing community has viewed functional programming techniques and tools as lacking the efficiency necessary for their applications. Nebo is a declarative domain-specific language embedded in C++ for discretizing partial differential equations for transport phenomena. For efficient execution, Nebo exploits a version of expression templates, based on the C++ template system, which is a type-less, completely-pure, Turing-complete functional language with burdensome syntax. Nebo's declarative syntax supports functional tools, such as point-wise lifting of complex expressions and functional composition of stencil operators. Nebo's primary abstraction is mathematical assignment, which separates what a calculation does from how that calculation is executed. Currently Nebo supports single-core execution, multicore (thread-based) parallel execution, and GPU execution. With single-core execution, Nebo performs on par with the loops and code that it replaces in Wasatch, a pre-existing high-performance simulation project. With multicore (thread-based) execution, Nebo can linearly scale (with roughly 90% efficiency) up to 6 processors, compared to its single-core execution. Moreover, Nebo's GPU execution can be up to 37x faster than its single-core execution. Finally, Wasatch (the pre-existing high-performance simulation project which uses Nebo) can scale up to 262K cores.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Might, Matthew
Commitee: Berzins, Martin, Flatt, Matthew, Hall, Mary, Sutherland, James C.
School: The University of Utah
Department: School of Computing
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-B 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Computer Engineering, Computer science
Keywords: C++, Control-flow analysis, Nebo, k-CFA
Publication Number: 3621541
ISBN: 9781303927218
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