Detecting Data Race and Atomicity Violation via Typestate-Guided Static Analysis

Detecting Data Race and Atomicity Violation via Typestate-Guided Static Analysis. Yue Yang, Anna Gringauze, Dinghao Wu, Henning Rohde. Aug. 2008

The correctness of typestate properties in a multithreaded program often depends on the assumption of certain concurrency invariants. However, standard typestate analysis and concurrency analysis are disjoint in that the former is unable to understand threading effects and the latter does not take typestate properties into consideration. We combine these two previously separate approaches and develop a novel typestate-driven concurrency analysis for detecting race conditions and atomicity violations. Our analysis is based on a reformulation of typestate systems in which state transitions of a shared variable are controlled by the locking state of that variable. By combining typestate checking with lockset analysis, we can selectively transfer the typestate to a transient state to simulate the thread interference effect, thus uncovering a new class of typestate errors directly related to low-level or high-level data races. Such a concurrency bug is more likely to be harmful, compared with those found by existing concurrency checkers, because there exists a concrete evidence that it may eventually lead to a typestate error as well. We have implemented a race and atomicity checker for C/C++ programs by extending a NULL pointer dereference analysis. To support large legacy code, our approach does not require a priori annotations; instead, it automatically infers the lock/data guardianship relation and variable correlations. We have applied the toolset to check a future version of the Windows operating system, finding many concurrency errors that cannot be discovered by previous tools.

Typestates extend the ordinary types by recoding the state of objects and allowing the safety violations that stem from operations being invoked on objects that are in the wrong state.

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A Similar Work...

If you are interested in this paper you may also be interested in a paper from OOPSLA 2008 that I co-authored:
Verifying correct usage of atomic blocks and typestate.

Our motivations are quite similar, although our overall approach is different, being more similar to the Spec#/JML approach.