[LLVMdev] Question about node collapse

Zvonimir Rakamaric zvonimir at cs.utah.edu
Sun Dec 14 13:33:35 PST 2014

Hi John, all,

Thanks for your responses everybody.

This is actually helpful and I think I now better understand what is
going on here. Unless there is a pointer involved, DSA will not
collapse nodes. That makes sense...

What we would like to leverage DSA for is essentially type-unsafe
memory accesses, such as the example where code write a byte into the
0th byte of an integer. Another example would be where a short is
written over an integer. Or an integer is written starting from the
2nd byte of another integer. And so on...

Now, after I read your answer below, it seems that DSA could still
provide us with such conservative information - for each DS node, we
should be able to iterate over its offsets and determine whether some
of the above listed type-unsafe accesses are happening on the node. Am
I getting this about right?

If you have time to point us at some API functions to get us started
with the above idea, that would be great. If not, then don't worry,
hopefully we'll figure it out on our own.


-- Zvonimir


On Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM, John Criswell <jtcriswel at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/12/14, 8:14 PM, Shaobo wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> I'm working on a project using DSA to mark the type-unsafe store
>> operations. The example code is below,
>>> int main() {
>>>  int *a = (int*)malloc(sizeof(int));
>>>  *a = 256;
>>>  *((char *)a) = 1;
>>>  assert(*a == 257);
>>>  free(a);
>>>  return 0;
>>> }
>> Based on my understanding of DSA, *((char *)a) = 1 will cause the node to
>> which "a" points to collapsed because I think there is type-inconsistency
>> here in the sense that a is declared as int* and used as int* when *a = 256
>> happens while is used as char* afterwards. However, it seems that no node is
>> collapsed when the analysis is finished. I was wondering if my understanding
>> of DSA is correct or not. Suggestions from your guys are really appreciated.
> First, which DSA pass are you using?
> Second, what does the LLVM IR for the program look like?
> DSA can now track multiple types per offset (this feature was added after
> the DSA paper).  In this case, it might track the fact that you're storing a
> 4-byte int at offset zero and a 1-byte int at offset zero.  As the integer
> doesn't overlap a pointer field, DSA does not need to collapse the DSNode
> for the pointer.  That's my guess as to why you're not seeing the node
> collapse.
> Regards,
> John Criswell
>> Best,
>> Shaobo
>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> John Criswell
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester
> http://www.cs.rochester.edu/u/criswell

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