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Colloquium - Foster

Type Qualifiers: Lightweight Specifications to Improve Software Quality
Department of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley

Software continues to increase in size and complexity, yet programmers have few practical tools and techniques to ensure its quality. In this talk I will discuss type qualifiers, a lightweight, practical mechanism for specifying and checking properties not captured by traditional type systems. I will describe efficient type qualifier inference algorithms, including a lazy, constraint-based flow-sensitive inference algorithm that explicitly models pointers, heap-allocated data, and aliasing.

As part of my research I have built Cqual, a tool for adding new type qualifiers to C. During the talk I will demonstrate two applications of Cqual: finding format-string bugs, a particular kind of security vulnerability, in C programs, and detecting simple deadlocks in the Linux kernel. I will also discuss experiments in which we found a number of format-string bugs and potential deadlocks.

More information about Cqual, including source code and a web-based demonstration, can be found on the Cqual website.

Hosted by Amer Diwan.
Refreshments will be served immediately following the talk in ECOT 831.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)