Nick Benton: Simple Relational Correctness Proofs for Static Analyses and Program Transformations

We show how some classical static analyses for imperative programs, and the optimizing transformations which they enable, may be expressed and proved correct using elementary logical and denotational techniques. The key ingredients are an interpretation of program properties as relations, rather than predicates, and a realization that although many program analyses are traditionally formulated in very intensional terms, the associated transformations are actually enabled by more liberal extensional properties. We illustrate our approach with formal systems for analysing and transforming while-programs. The first is a simple type system which tracks constancy and dependency information and can be used to perform dead-code elimination, constant propagation and program slicing as well as capturing a form of secure information flow. The second is a relational version of Hoare logic, which significantly generalizes our first type system and can also justify optimizations including hoisting loop invariants. Finally we show how a simple available expression analysis and redundancy elimination transformation may be justified by translation into relational Hoare logic.

Not really exciting as such, but this technical report version of the POPL 2004 paper includes most of the proofs, which some might find helpful.

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Missing link

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I fixed the link. The link I had in mind is to the MSR website, but I assume the files are the same (I don't have the time to check right now).