Position Paper: The Potential of Sampling for Dynamic Analysis


Published in the Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Programming Languages and Analysis for Security (PLAS 2011), June, 2011 (acceptance rate: 8/18 ≈ 44%)


Joseph L. Greathouse, Todd Austin


This paper presents an argument for distributing dynamic software analyses to large populations of users in order to locate bugs that cause security flaws.We review a collection of dynamic analysis systems and show that, despite a great deal of effort from the research community, their performance is still too low to allow their use in the field. We then show that there are effective sampling mechanisms for accelerating a wide range of powerful dynamic analyses. These mechanisms reduce the rate at which errors are observed by individual analyses, but this loss can be offset by the subsequent increase in test population. Nevertheless, there are unsolved issues in this domain that deserve attention if this technique is to be widely utilized.


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