Demand-Driven Compositional Symbolic Execution

Saswat Anand, Patrice Godefroid, and Nikolai Tillmann

Abstract

We discuss how to perform symbolic execution of large programs in a manner that is both compositional (hence more scalable) and demand-driven. Compositional symbolic execution means finding feasible interprocedural program paths by composing symbolic executions of feasible intraprocedural paths. By demand-driven, we mean that as few intraprocedural paths as possible are symbolically executed in order to form an interprocedural path leading to a specific target branch or statement of interest (like an assertion). A key originality of this work is that our demand-driven compositional interprocedural symbolic execution is performed entirely using first-order logic formulas solved with an off-the-shelf SMT (Satisfiability-Modulo-Theories) solver – no procedure in-lining or custom algorithm is required for the interprocedural part. This allows a uniform and elegant way of summarizing procedures at various levels of detail and of composing those using logic formulas. This novel symbolic execution technique has been implemented for automatic test input generation in conjunction with Pex, a general automatic testing framework for .NET applications. Preliminary experimental results are enouraging. For instance, our tool was able to generate tests triggering assertion violations in programs with large numbers of program paths that were beyond the scope of non-compositional test generation.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2007-138
Pages19
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
PublisherMicrosoft
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