Programming LAnguages
and StatiC AnaLysis Group

Static Program Analysis

Instructors: Yue Li and Tian Tan

Course Information

Software Analysis or Static Program Analysis is a new course of Nanjing University developed by Yue Li and Tian Tan in Spring 2020. In this course, we will learn about static program analysis, a useful technique for improving the reliability, security and performace of software, and it becomes increasingly impactful in industries nowadyas. The course covers two parts: theory and practice. In theory, various materials will be introduced: from the foundations of classical data-flow and pointer analyses to some advanced topics such as security analysis and soundiness. In practice, an educational static program analysis framework called bamboo was designed, on top of which we'll implement a series of assignments including constant propagation, dead code detection, CHA call graph construction, context-insensitive and context-sensitive pointer analyses.


As prerequisites, you need to understand data structures and algorithms, and to be familiar with a programming language (Java would be better than others as our assignments are implemented in it). Compiler is not a prerequsite despite that understanding it would be preferable. The course is intended for advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students at all levels.

Lectures (Spring 2020)

Date Class Instructor Slides [PDF]
Feb 26 (Wed) Course Introduction Yue Li Intro.pdf
Mar 4 (Wed) Intermediate Representation Yue Li IR.pdf
Mar 11 (Wed) Data Flow Analysis - Applications I Yue Li DFA-AP (I,II).pdf
Mar 18 (Wed) Data Flow Analysis - Applications II Yue Li See above ฅ’ω’ฅ
Mar 25 (Wed) Data Flow Analysis - Foundations I Yue Li DFA-FD (I,II).pdf
Apr 1 (Wed) Data Flow Analysis - Foundations II Yue Li See above ฅ’ω’ฅ
Apr 15 (Wed) Interprocedural Analysis Tian Tan Inter.pdf
Apr 22 (Wed) Pointer Analysis Tian Tan PTA.pdf
Apr 29 (Wed) Pointer Analysis - Foundations I Tian Tan PTA-FD (I,II).pdf
May 6 (Wed) Pointer Analysis - Foundations II Tian Tan See above ฅ’ω’ฅ
Apr 13 (Wed) Pointer Analysis - Context Sensitivity I Tian Tan PTA-CS (I,II).pdf
May 20 (Wed) Pointer Analysis - Context Sensitivity II Tian Tan See above ฅ’ω’ฅ
May 27 (Wed) Static Analysis for Security Tian Tan Security.pdf
Jun 3 (Wed) Datalog-Based Program Analysis Tian Tan Datalog.pdf
Jun 10 (Wed) CFL-Reachability and IFDS Yue Li IFDS.pdf
Jun 12 (Fri) Soundness and Soundiness Yue Li Soundiness.pdf


  1. Constant Propagation Analysis (Assignment-1-description.pdf)
  2. Dead Code Detection Analysis (Assignment-2-description.pdf)
  3. Class Hierarchy Analysis (Assignment-3-description.pdf)
  4. Pointer Analysis (Assignment-4-description.pdf)
  5. Context-Sensitive Pointer Analysis (Assignment-5-description.pdf)

Reference Materials

  1. Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools (2nd), by Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi and Jeffrey D. Ullman
  2. Static Program Analysis, by Anders Møller and Michael I. Schwartzbach
  3. Principles of Program Analysis, by Flemming Nielson, Hanne R. Nielson and Chris Hankin
We appreciate the researchers in the community of static program analysis for their inspiring lectures and papers, which provide us great materials to build this course.