Backwards-compatible array bounds checking for C with very low overhead

Dinakar Dhurjati, Vikram Adve

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The problem of enforcing correct usage of array and pointer references in C and C++ programs remains unsolved. The approach proposed by Jones and Kelly (extended by Ruwase and Lam) is the only one we know of that does not require significant manual changes to programs, but it has extremely high overheads of 5x-6x and 11x-12x in the two versions. In this paper, we describe a collection of techniques that dramatically reduce the overhead of this approach, by exploiting a fine-grain partitioning of memory called Automatic Pool Allocation. Together, these techniques bring the average overhead checks down to only 12% for a set of benchmarks (but 69% for one case). We show that the memory partitioning is key to bringing down this overhead. We also show that our technique successfully detects all buffer overrun violations in a test suite modeling reported violations in some important real-world programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 28th International Conference on Software Engineering 2006, ICSE '06
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages162-171
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1595933751, 9781595933751
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006
Event28th International Conference on Software Engineering 2006, ICSE '06 - Shanghai, China
Duration: May 20 2006May 28 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
Volume2006
ISSN (Print)0270-5257

Other

Other28th International Conference on Software Engineering 2006, ICSE '06
CountryChina
CityShanghai
Period5/20/065/28/06

Keywords

  • Array bounds checking
  • Automatic pool allocation
  • Compilers
  • Programming languages
  • Region management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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