Improving software quality with static analysis

TitleImproving software quality with static analysis
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsFoster JS, Hicks MW, Pugh W
Conference NameProceedings of the 7th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGSOFT workshop on Program analysis for software tools and engineering
Date Published2007///
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-59593-595-3
Keywordsbug patterns, bugs, C, Data races, FFIs, java, modularity, network protocols, Software quality

At the University of Maryland, we have been working to improve the reliability and security of software by developing new, effective static analysis tools. These tools scan software for bug patterns or show that the software is free from a particular class of defects. There are two themes common to our different projects: 1. Our ultimate focus is on utility: can a programmer actually improve the quality of his or her software using an analysis tool? The important first step toward answering this question is to engineer tools so that they can analyze existing, nontrivial programs, and to carefully report the results of such analyses experimentally. The desire to better understand a more human-centered notion of utility underlies much of our future work. 2. We release all of our tools open source. This allows other researchers to verify our results, and to reuse some or all of our implementations, which often required significant effort to engineer. We believe that releasing source code is important for accelerating the pace of research results software quality, and just as importantly allows feedback from the wider community. In this research group presentation, we summarize some recent work and sketch future directions.