Recency-Abstraction for Heap-Allocated Storage

Gogul Balakrishnan and Thomas Reps
University of Wisconsin

In this paper, we present an abstraction for heap-allocated storage, called the recency-abstraction, that allows abstract-interpretation algorithms to recover some non-trivial information for heap-allocated data objects. As an application of the recency-abstraction, we show how it can resolve virtual-function calls in stripped executables (i.e., executables from which debugging information has been removed). This approach succeeded in resolving 55% of virtual-function call-sites, whereas previous tools for analyzing executables fail to resolve any of the virtual-function call-sites.

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