Computer Sciences Dept.

Heap Typability is NP-Complete

Matt Elder, Ben Liblit

Given a snapshot of a running programís memory heap, and a set of types representing data in the program, dynamic heap type inference attempts to assign types to memory locations such that certain global consistency constraints are satisfied. Previous work has used brute-force searches to solve heap typing problems. We prove that a problem derived from dynamic heap type inference is NP-complete by reduction from 3-colorability. Thus, it is unlikely that a polynomial-time algorithm for heap type inference exists.

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