Book section Open Access

Gamifying Program Analysis

Fava, Daniel; Signoles, Julien; Lemerre, Matthieu; Schäf, Martin; Tiwari, Ashish

Abstract interpretation is a powerful tool in program verification. Several commercial or industrial scale implementations of abstract interpretation have demonstrated that this approach can verify safety properties of real-world code. However, using abstract interpretation tools is not always simple. If no user-provided hints are available, the abstract interpretation engine may lose precision during widening and produce an overwhelming number of false alarms. However, manually providing these hints is time consuming and often frustrating when re-running the analysis takes a lot of time.We present an algorithm for program verification that combines abstract interpretation, symbolic execution and crowdsourcing. If verification fails, our procedure suggests likely invariants, or program patches, that provide helpful information to the verification engineer and makes it easier to find the correct specification. By complementing machine learning with well-designed games, we enable program analysis to incorporate human insights that help improve their scalability and usability.

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